Rising interest rates may be good news for banks but it’s all the other stuff which is causing them headaches right now.
Concern about the impact of a slowing economy on bad debts and growth in the loan book is being exacerbated at HSBC by the departure of well-respected finance director Ewen Stevenson and the deteriorating situation in China.
AJ Bell’s Danni Hewson said: “This explains HSBC serving up a better-than-expected set of third quarter numbers only to have the market effectively tell it to get stuffed.
“Stevenson had a good track record in his previous job helping to rehabilitate NatWest (formerly Royal Bank of Scotland) and shareholders will be disappointed not to have his steady hand at the tiller during the current turmoil.
“Stevenson’s departure may also make HSBC more vulnerable to pressure from its largest shareholder Ping An to break up the bank.
“HSBC’s fortunes are increasingly tied to China and the rest of Asia so Xi Jinping’s power grab, which has created concern in international markets, particularly if it means a continuation of hard-line zero-Covid policies, is not helpful for sentiment towards the bank.”