Current Affairs
HSBC Malta registers 864% increase in profits- says grey listing will not have a significant impact on bank

HSBC Malta bank registered a pre-tax increase of 864 per cent during the first six months of the year over last year, with a substantial price increase in shares. However, the bank expressed caution, saying it will not be proposing a dividend for shareholders for this period.

Speaking during a press conference, HSBC chief executive Simon Vaughan Johnson also referred to the FATF grey list.

Between January and June, HSBC Malta registered a profit of €17.5 million, an increase of €15.6 million on the same period last year. The bank attributed this increase on the improvement in markets despite that businesses in Malta are still recovering from the pandemic.

The bank’s business performance was negatively affected by low interest and negative rates, while there were less requests for commercial loans. The bank’s clients used less credit cards and took less loans. During the period, HSBC registered a decrease of €8.9 million in loans.

Maltese clients with HSBC accounts saved more money as the bank’s deposits increased by €56.6 million.

Speaking to the media, the bank’s chief executive said that Malta’s FATF grey listing will not have a significant impact on the bank’s operation and the bank will do its utmost to assist that Malta will no longer be in this classification.

“I think the key thing that we all work collectively as stakeholders and with key interests in Malta’s future and continued success, to get off the grey list as soon as possible so we will absolutely do our very best on our part to help to achieve that as soon as possible, but the longer that takes, the increased risks that one might see in confidence and so on.”

Meanwhile, the pre-tax profit of €11.4 million during the first six months of the year led shareholders to earn 32 cents for every share, which means an increase of 2.9 cents on the same period in 2020.

Mr Vaughan Johnson added that the bank operating expenses during the period increase by €1.1 million, while the bank is continuing with the early retirement scheme for employees as part of its strategy for better efficiency in its operation.

The bank said it will be adhering to the European Central Bank’s recommendation for caution with regards to dividends and therefore it will not propose a dividend for shareholders for this period.