HSBC, Europe's largest bank, reported a set of financial results that beat estimates in the first half of 2017 and announced a $2 billion share buyback on the back of a growing capital base. HSBC's profits rose 5% in the first half of the year after a turbulent 2016. The results were better than expected with Europe's largest bank reporting that its pre-tax profit for the first six months to June came in at $10.2bn (£7.8bn), compared with $9.7bn (£7.4bn) for the same period last year, beating Bloomberg analysts' estimates, which had averaged out at a $4.6bn forecast.
HSBC and UBS have each agreed to pay $14 million to settle private U.S. litigation accusing them of rigging an interest rate benchmark used in the $483 trillion derivatives market, Reuters reported. Switzerland’s largest lender was one of 10 banks accused of having rigged the Isdafix index, which is used to price swap transactions, commercial real estate mortgages and structured debt securities.
A Spanish court is probing seven former executives of HSBC's private Swiss bank on suspicion of money laundering following an investigation of documents in the 'Swissleaks' scandal on bank-supported tax evasion, legal sources have said. In an order dated January but not published until now, the National High Court named seven persons under suspicion of "persistent money laundering and criminal association" who in 2006 and 2007 held senior positions at the Swiss subsidiary of HSBC. According to a court document released on Thursday, the suspects include two former heads of HSBC private banking operations, Christopher Meares and Clive Bannister. HSBC declined to comment.
Global banking giant HSBC has disclosed being probed by tax authorities in India, the US, France and Belgium, including against its Swiss and Dubai units, for allegedly abetting tax evasion of four Indians and their families. Disclosing the "tax-related investigations" in its latest annual report published last week, HSBC further said it has set aside $ 773 million as a provision for various tax- and money laundering-related matters.
The top boss of HSBC, Stuart Gulliver, has said it is planning to move some staff from London to Paris following Britain’s exit from the European Union. Speaking from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Gulliver said in an interview Bloomberg Television that "about 1,000 jobs which are carrying out activities which are covered by European legislation... would probably need, in our case, to go to France". While Gulliver had in the past already hinted at such a switch of investment banking jobs, his comments appeared more precise as he suggested France would take precedence over other EU nations.
HSBC reported a sharper-than-expected 86% fall in pretax profit for the third quarter as the British lender took a $1.7bn loss on the sale of its Brazilian unit and it also pointed to customer compensation in America and currency moves for the fall in profits. The bank's reported pretax profit was $843 million in the September quarter, down from $6.1 billion in the same period a year ago, HSBC said in a Hong Kong stock exchange filing on Monday.
French financial prosecutors have asked judges to send HSBC and two former executives to trial on charges of aggravated tax fraud by its Swiss private bank in a case that relates to files stolen by Hervé Falciani, a former HSBC employee. If French judges decide to follow prosecutors' advice, HSBC could stand trial in Paris in the first half of next year. The judges could also dismiss the case.
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