HSBC is always a bit of an outlier in the UK banks sector because, while it has a UK high street presence, its core focus is increasingly Asia.
It’s true a trebling of its pre-tax profit was flattered by accounting moves around the sale of its French retail banking network, which now looks like being called off, and a provisional gain from its acquisition of the UK arm of Silicon Valley Bank, though the latter does suggest this deal may prove something of a steal for HSBC.
AJ Bell’s Russ Mould said: “Chinese insurer Ping An is not dialling back its criticism of the lender. As its largest shareholder this view carries weight and the push for HSBC to spin-off its Asian operations from the rest of the business isn’t going away.
“HSBC CEO Noel Quinn points to the strong quarterly results as evidence the existing strategy is working, but Ping An’s argument is likely to be that one swallow does not make a summer and this Friday’s AGM looks set to be a testy affair.”