HSBC Malta has posted a 1.8 million euro profit for the first half of this year, a drop of over 19 million euro when compared to last year. The bank stated that these financial results stem from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. During the same period, deposits increased by three per cent, and loans increased by one per cent.
The stagnation resulting from the Covid pandemic meant a 91% drop in income registered by HSBC Malta for the first six months of this year, when compared to the same period last year.
During a virtual presentation of the results, HSBC Malta Chief Executive Simon Vaughan Johnson stated that like the rest of the economy, the bank was hard hit by the effects of the pandemic, particularly through loss of credit which was much more than expected because of re-evaluation and a drop in income.
The Chief Executive added that this led to the bank making a pre-tax profit of 1.8 million euro, a drop of 19,100,000 euro.
The Chief Executive stated that the first six months of the year were among the most difficult and challenging for the bank, adding that despite this scenario, the bank managed to reduce expenses by five per cent whilst client deposits went up by three per cent or 168 million euro to a total of just over five billion euro by the end of June, and loans increased by 33 million euro, equivalent to one per cent.
The bank added that besides strong capital and liquidity, as recommended by the European Central Bank, HSBC Malta will not give any dividend to shareholders until at least January of 2021.
Asked about prospects for the property market, the HSBC Malta Chief Executive said he is observing that prices are still strong, adding that they expect some reduction in the coming six months. Regarding the eventuality of Malta ending up on the Moneyval grey list, Mr Vaughan Johnson stated that the bank had set up a working group to prepare for such an eventuality, but stated he is optimistic the Maltese regulatory authorities are actively working to address the situation and place Malta in a stronger position.