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

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Let's face it: supporting Spurs is basically a form of charity

Now, for my biggest donation yet . . .

I gazed in awe at the new stadium, the future home of Spurs, wondering where my treasures will go. It is going to be one of the architectural wonders of the modern world (football stadia division), yet at the same time it seems ancient, archaic, a Roman ruin, very much like an amphitheatre I once saw in Croatia. It’s at the stage in a new construction when you can see all the bones and none of the flesh, with huge tiers soaring up into the sky. You can’t tell if it’s going or coming, a past perfect ruin or a perfect future model.

It has been so annoying at White Hart Lane this past year or so, having to walk round walkways and under awnings and dodge fences and hoardings, losing all sense of direction. Millions of pounds were being poured into what appeared to be a hole in the ground. The new stadium will replace part of one end of the present one, which was built in 1898. It has been hard not to be unaware of what’s going on, continually asking ourselves, as we take our seats: did the earth move for you?

Now, at long last, you can see what will be there, when it emerges from the scaffolding in another year. Awesome, of course. And, har, har, it will hold more people than Arsenal’s new home by 1,000 (61,000, as opposed to the puny Emirates, with only 60,000). At each home game, I am thinking about the future, wondering how my treasures will fare: will they be happy there?

No, I don’t mean Harry Kane, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker – local as well as national treasures. Not many Prem teams these days can boast quite as many English persons in their ranks. I mean my treasures, stuff wot I have been collecting these past 50 years.

About ten years ago, I went to a shareholders’ meeting at White Hart Lane when the embryonic plans for the new stadium were being announced. I stood up when questions were called for and asked the chairman, Daniel Levy, about having a museum in the new stadium. I told him that Man United had made £1m the previous year from their museum. Surely Spurs should make room for one in the brave new mega-stadium – to show off our long and proud history, delight the fans and all those interested in football history and make a few bob.

He mumbled something – fluent enough, as he did go to Cambridge – but gave nothing away, like the PM caught at Prime Minister’s Questions with an unexpected question.

But now it is going to happen. The people who are designing the museum are coming from Manchester to look at my treasures. They asked for a list but I said, “No chance.” I must have 2,000 items of Spurs memorabilia. I could be dead by the time I finish listing them. They’ll have to see them, in the flesh, and then they’ll be free to take away whatever they might consider worth having in the new museum.

I’m awfully kind that way, partly because I have always looked on supporting Spurs as a form of charity. You don’t expect any reward. Nor could you expect a great deal of pleasure, these past few decades, and certainly not the other day at Liverpool when they were shite. But you do want to help them, poor things.

I have been downsizing since my wife died, and since we sold our Loweswater house, and I’m now clearing out some of my treasures. I’ve donated a very rare Wordsworth book to Dove Cottage, five letters from Beatrix Potter to the Armitt Library in Ambleside, and handwritten Beatles lyrics to the British Library. If Beckham and I don’t get a knighthood in the next honours list, I will be spitting.

My Spurs stuff includes programmes going back to 1910, plus recent stuff like the Opus book, that monster publication, about the size of a black cab. Limited editions cost £8,000 a copy in 2007. I got mine free, as I did the introduction and loaned them photographs. I will be glad to get rid of it. It’s blocking the light in my room.

Perhaps, depending on what they want, and they might take nothing, I will ask for a small pourboire in return. Two free tickets in the new stadium. For life. Or longer . . . 

Hunter Davies is a journalist, broadcaster and profilic author perhaps best known for writing about the Beatles. He is an ardent Tottenham fan and writes a regular column on football for the New Statesman.

This article first appeared in the 16 February 2017 issue of the New Statesman, The New Times