HSBC Bank Canada’s operating income increased by 0.7% in the first quarter of 2019 compared to Q1 2018, but its profit was down by 8.8%, the bank announced Friday.
While revenue grew across the bank’s three global business lines (commercial banking, global banking and markets, and retail banking and wealth management), a release from HSBC showed the bank’s profit dipped to $229 million, down from $251 million in Q1 2018.
HSBC attributed the decrease in profitability to lower than expected credit loss recoveries ($12 million in the quarter, down from $28 million in Q1 2018) and an increase in operating expenses ($328 million in the quarter, up from $318 million in Q1 2018) as the bank invested in growing its business.
“As we continue to invest in providing the new products and services our customers are asking for, costs increased as planned,” HSBC president and CEO Sandra Stuart said in a release. “We are carefully watching the headwinds we see in the economy and are mindful of maintaining cost discipline, ensuring our continuing investments are appropriately balanced with revenues.”
Retail banking and wealth management netted a total operating income of $184 million (up from $175 million in Q1 2018) and an improved profit of $7 million (up from $3 million in Q1 2018) thanks to higher margins and growth in total relationship balances (comprised of lending, deposits and wealth balances), HSBC said.
Global banking and markets increased total operating income to $80 million (up from $72 million in Q1 2018) and improved profit to $39 million (up from $37 million in Q1 2018). Commercial banking also reported an increase in total operating income ($244 million, up from $226 million in Q1 2018), although profit was unchanged year-over-year at $157 million.