HSBC share price hits two-year low in Hong Kong

Jessica Morris
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HSBC shares listed on Hong Kong's Hang Seng index, tumbled as much as 3.9 per cent to HK$69.15, after it posted figures showing pre-tax profits tanked 17 per cent to $18.6bn (£12.1bn) in 2014, down from $22.5bn the year before.

The bank's shares listed on the FTSE 100 closed down 4.2 per cent at 573.3p yesterday, their lowest level since October 2012, which dragged the benchmark index down 3.04 points, or flat in percentage terms, at 6,912.16 points.

HSBC also said allegations its Swiss arm helped clients avoid paying taxes had bought "shame" on the bank, and stressed it has changed since it was first investigated over this.

The recent disclosures around unacceptable historical practices and behaviour within the Swiss private bank remind us of how much there still is to do and how far society's expectations have changed in terms of banks' responsibilities.

In response to, and in parallel with, the tax investigations prompted by the data theft more than eight years ago, we have been completely overhauling our private banking business, putting the entire customer base through enhanced due diligence and tax transparency filters. Our Swiss private bank customer base and the countries we serve are now both about one‑third of the size they were in 2007.

Over the weekend boss Stuart Gulliver was dragged into the row, following a Guardian report he holds a Swiss bank account through a company registered in Panama. It was used for bonuses until 2003, and had a balance of $7.6 million in 2007.

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