Five questions answered on HSBC’s profit rise

How did they do it?

HSBC bank has reported a rise in profits for the first half of the year despite a drop in revenue. We answer five questions on HSBC’s figures for the first half of the year.

By how much has HSBC’s pre-tax profit risen by?

The bank’s pre-tax profit is up by 10 per cent to $14.1bn (£9.2bn). This is despite a 7 per cent drop in revenues to just under $35bn.

How has HSBC achieved these figures?

I has it has achieved this by streamlining its business and cutting operational costs by 13 per cent, as we as selling off non-core businesses and lower bad debts.

The bank said it had closed or sold 11 non-core businesses since the start of the year.

It also cut 46,000 jobs in May and plans to reduce its number of employees to between 240,000 and 250,000 over the next three years.

What has the company said about its latest figures?

"We have successfully progressed the repositioning of the business," chief executive Stuart Gulliver is quoted by the BBC as saying.

"These results confirm the value which is being delivered from the continuing reshaping of the group and enforcing appropriate cost discipline," he added.

Are the latest figures in line with expert’s expectations?

They are slightly below analysts expectations. HSBC’s shares, which have risen by over 40% in the past year, fell 3 per cent when the results were announced. 

Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, speaking to the BBC said the key results were "strong or improving".

"The statement is safe and dependable, as is the current aspiration of banking investors."

What else has the bank said about its future plans?

The bank is planning on streamlining its operations further by focusing on high growth markets in Asia.

HSBC makes an estimated 90 per cent of its profits outside the UK.

HSBC's pre-tax profits have risen by 10 percent despite a 7 per cent drop in revenues. Photograph: Getty Images.

Heidi Vella is a features writer for Nridigital.com

Ukip's Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall. Photo: Getty
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Is the general election 2017 the end of Ukip?

Ukip led the way to Brexit, but now the party is on less than 10 per cent in the polls. 

Ukip could be finished. Ukip has only ever had two MPs, but it held an outside influence on politics: without it, we’d probably never have had the EU referendum. But Brexit has turned Ukip into a single-issue party without an issue. Ukip’s sole remaining MP, Douglas Carswell, left the party in March 2017, and told Sky News’ Adam Boulton that there was “no point” to the party anymore. 

Not everyone in Ukip has given up, though: Nigel Farage told Peston on Sunday that Ukip “will survive”, and current leader Paul Nuttall will be contesting a seat this year. But Ukip is standing in fewer constituencies than last time thanks to a shortage of both money and people. Who benefits if Ukip is finished? It’s likely to be the Tories. 

Is Ukip finished? 

What are Ukip's poll ratings?

Ukip’s poll ratings peaked in June 2016 at 16 per cent. Since the leave campaign’s success, that has steadily declined so that Ukip is going into the 2017 general election on 4 per cent, according to the latest polls. If the polls can be trusted, that’s a serious collapse.

Can Ukip get anymore MPs?

In the 2015 general election Ukip contested nearly every seat and got 13 per cent of the vote, making it the third biggest party (although is only returned one MP). Now Ukip is reportedly struggling to find candidates and could stand in as few as 100 seats. Ukip leader Paul Nuttall will stand in Boston and Skegness, but both ex-leader Nigel Farage and donor Arron Banks have ruled themselves out of running this time.

How many members does Ukip have?

Ukip’s membership declined from 45,994 at the 2015 general election to 39,000 in 2016. That’s a worrying sign for any political party, which relies on grassroots memberships to put in the campaigning legwork.

What does Ukip's decline mean for Labour and the Conservatives? 

The rise of Ukip took votes from both the Conservatives and Labour, with a nationalist message that appealed to disaffected voters from both right and left. But the decline of Ukip only seems to be helping the Conservatives. Stephen Bush has written about how in Wales voting Ukip seems to have been a gateway drug for traditional Labour voters who are now backing the mainstream right; so the voters Ukip took from the Conservatives are reverting to the Conservatives, and the ones they took from Labour are transferring to the Conservatives too.

Ukip might be finished as an electoral force, but its influence on the rest of British politics will be felt for many years yet. 

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