HSBC shares drop as profit disappoints market

HSBC scaled back some of its financial targets on Monday as Europe's biggest bank posted a surge in pre-tax annual profit.

HSBC said pre-tax profits for the year ending 31 December more than doubled from 2009 to £11.8bn.

HSBC said it had made a good start to the year but the company cut its long-term return on equity (ROE) target to 12-15 per cent from a previous 15-19 per cent target.

HSBC shares, which had been trading up two per cent before the results, fell back and were down 2.4 per cent immediately after they were announced.