Banking giant HSBC on Monday reported a 69% drop in profit after tax for the first half of the year, citing higher credit losses and lower revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The group, one of Europe's largest, said its profit after tax was 3.1 billion dollars. A year ago, it reported 9.9 billion dollars in profit after tax for the six-month period January to June.
"Our first half performance was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, falling interest rates, increased geopolitical risk and heightened levels of market volatility," chief executive Noel Quinn said in a statement.
Reported revenue dropped by almost 10% to 26.7 billion dollars for the period ending in June.
Reported expected credit losses increased by 5.7 billion dollars to 6.9 billion dollars, the group said, citing the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak and "the forward economic outlook."
HSBC is headquartered in London, but conducts much of its business in Asia, including Hong Kong.
Despite higher expected credit losses in Asia, the group said its pre-tax profit in the region increased in the period.
Quinn added that "current tensions between China and the United States inevitably create challenging situations for an organization with HSBC's footprint."
The bank said it had increased loan loss provisions from 8.7 billion dollars at the end of December to 13.2 billion dollars at the end of June.
The bank was also moving ahead with plans to reduce its total workforce from 235,000 to about 200,000 in the coming three years.