Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Good News on Profits for Under-Fire Banking Giant

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Good News on Profits for Under-Fire Banking Giant

Article excerpt

UNDER-FIRE banking giant HSBC has reported better-than-expected profits as it disclosed that the UK's City watchdog has asked for information about its controversial Swiss private bank.

Pre-tax profits rose to 7.06bn US dollars (PS4.7bn) for the first quarter, 4% ahead of the same period last year.

Chief executive Stuart Gulliver said the group had "recovered well" after a tough end to 2014 when it was weighed down by regulatory fines and saw annual profits fall by 17%.

HSBC has been enmeshed in controversy over its Swiss private banking unit, which is alleged to have helped thousands of account holders hide billions in assets from tax authorities. It is facing criminal investigation in a number of countries. Yesterday it said the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had "issued a request for information" about the Swiss private bank. The FCA had previously said in February that it was "working closely with the firm". A request for information by the watchdog falls short of launching a formal investigation. …

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