Pedestrians walk past HSBC signage outside the bank's Indian head office in Mumbai/ File
Pedestrians walk past HSBC signage outside the bank's Indian head office in Mumbai/ File

British banking major HSBC on Monday reported a 9.5 per cent increase in pre-tax profits from India operations at USD 561 million for the first half of 2020, helped largely by treasury income and balance sheet management.

This makes India the third most profitable market in which the lender operates.

The bank, which has 26 branches in the country, had posted a pre-tax profit of USD 512 million in the year-ago period and USD 494 million in the preceding H2 of 2019, it said in a statement.

In the January-June period, profits under the 'corporate centre' jumped 58 per cent to USD 160 million from USD 101 million in the year-ago period. The corporate centre line includes treasury income and balance sheet management, bank officials said.

Profits from the global banking and markets vertical increased to USD 313 million from USD 264 million, it said.

Both commercial banking and the wealth and personal banking verticals witnessed a dip in profits during the six-month period as compared to the year-ago period.

Commercial banking logged a 23 per cent fall to USD 83 million from USD 108 million, while on the wealth and personal banking side, it was a 87 per cent drop to USD 5 million from USD 39 million earlier.

The bank's overall wholesale lending book grew by over 6 per cent to USD 7,076 million as of June 30, from USD 6,657 million in December 2019.

In real estate, it reported a 12 per cent growth in the gross carrying amount at USD 1,761 million, while in non-banks financial institutions segment, there was a 16 per cent growth to USD 3,043 million.

There was a 67 per cent growth in the allowance for expected credit losses (ECL) to USD 82 million during the six months as compared with July-December 2019.

On the personal lending front, there was a 4 per cent de-growth in the amortised loans and advances at USD 1,509 million as of June 30 when compared with the same amount for December.

The unsecured credit card loans declined by nearly 6 per cent to USD 206 million.

The overall allowance for ECL on the personal loans front increased to USD 36 million from the immediate past six months' USD 26 million despite the dip in the overall book, it said.

The bank added over 3,000 new customer accounts during the last six months and the total stood at 18,047 as of June 30.

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Free Press Journal