HSBC Bank Malta has announced its interim financial statements for the first half of 2023, posting a 338 per cent increase in profits for the period as a result of an increase in revenue, improved credit quality and effective cost management.

Profit before tax for between January and June of this year reached €59.3 million, as compared to €17.5 million for the corresponding period of 2022.

The bank noted that the financial performance in the first half of the year “reflected the value of the bank’s large and diversified customer base, rising interest rates, strong risk management and credit quality of the loan book, improved performance of the insurance subsidiary and cost discipline, while still investing in the future of the business.”

On the back of the positive result, HSBC Malta announced an interim gross dividend of €0.06 per share – higher than the full year gross dividend paid out for 2022, and the highest interim dividend paid by the bank in seven years.

Ostensibly in response to persistent rumblings about HSBC’s future in the country following the significant downscaling of its branch network, Geoffrey Fichte, the local entity’s CEO since May, spoke at length about its commitment, noting its “confidence” in the local economy and touting its “investment in the future” and the “many opportunities” it has identified to grow it business here.

“HSBC is positive on Malta,” he said, pointing to the “major investment” in a new headquarters for Malta.

“We are excited to move into this state-of-the-art green building in the near future,” noting that the HSBC Hub is “purposely built for the long-term success of our customers and colleagues.”

Other planned major investments include upgrading and replacing the bank’s entire fleet of ATMs, introducing green loans, and digital and future skills training.

“Our main priority is improving customer services through better digital channels for customers while not losing the personalised service of our team. We leverage on our global strength being the leading international banking brand in Malta.”

Turning to the hot topic issue of the time, sustainability, Mr Fichte said it represents “the biggest transformation in the banking sector”.

“We are already taking action to reduce our carbon footprint but recognise that our biggest impact comes from working with customers to help them transition to a net zero economy and become more sustainable through our green loan offers.”

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Robert Fenech

Robert is curious about the connections that make the world work, and takes a particular interest in the confluence of economy, environment and justice. He can also be found moonlighting as a butler for his big black cat.