HSBC Holdings PLC, one of the world’s largest banks, has said it will inject about $ 6 billion in additional investment into Asia over the next five years as it doubles its core business.
The London-based bank, which makes most of its profits in Hong Kong and mainland China, said on Tuesday that profits fell 35% to $ 3.9 billion last year as the coronavirus pandemic shook the world economy. HSBC made $ 8.82 billion in bad debt provisions last year compared to less than $ 3 billion in 2019.
Managing Director Noel Quinn is leading the reorganization of the bank. Geopolitical tensions between China and Western countries have strained its ambition to make the bank a financial bridge between the most populous nation and the rest of the world. Last year, HSBC backed China’s imposition of a national security law in Hong Kong, which the US and UK governments opposed.
“We plan to focus and invest in the areas where we are strongest,” Quinn said. In an investor presentation, the bank said it would invest an additional $ 6 billion in its international wholesale and wealth management business to drive growth in Asia. HBSC will also spend more to digitize faster and has announced plans to build on its strengths in sustainable finance.
The bank announced a tangible return on equity of 3.1%, down from 8.4% a year earlier, and abandoned its previous target of achieving a return of 10% to 12% on that basis by 2022 Instead, she will aim for a return of 10% or more over the medium term.