HSBC’s Lending in 2013.

by Mark Johnston

HSBC’s Lending in 2013.

HSBC entered in to the UK market when it acquired Midland bank in 1992, it slowly phased out the brand in 1999 and has been known as HSBC ever since.

In the UK, HSBC, only offers its mortgage products direct to consumers through its branch network and telephone services, it does not sell its products through mortgage advisers. The bank now ranks as one of the UK’s biggest lenders.

Recent figures have shown that during the first 3 months of 2013 the HSBC’s profits have doubled to £5.4 billion, up 95 per cent on the same quarter of 2012.

These figures have smashed the £2 billion first quarter profit reported by rival Lloyds and the measly £826 million also reported by the Royal bank of Scotland (RBS).

Stuart Gulliver, chief executive officer of HSBC, stated “we have strengthened our capital position and remain one of the best capitalised banks in the world, allowing us both to invest in organic growth and grow dividends”.

These profit figures are significantly higher than most analysts had forecast, thus they have drove HSBC shares up almost 3 per cent.

So while it appears that the great banking depression of 2012 has come to an end for the HSBC, it still has one thing in common with the other big banks and that is it still seems to be failing in its basic function which is lending.

The banks figures reveal that it provided £16.4 billion in gross mortgage lending in 2012, up 2 per cent on the £16.2 billion it provided in 2011.

HSBC approved a total of £19.5 billion to UK mortgage borrowers in 2012. Over the course of the year they provided loans to 177,000 borrowers including 40,500 first time buyers.

Antonio Simoes, head of HSBC in the UK, said last year that “we are committed to helping the UK economy recover by continuing to support our customers through the coming years”

However, more recent data has shown that the banks gross mortgage lending was down 10 per cent from £3.1 billion in the first quarter of 2012 to £2.8 billion in the same period a year later.

According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) the banks market share for the first quarter of 2013 was 8 per cent, compared with a 9 per cent market share in the first quarter of 2012.

The total of HSBC approved mortgages to UK borrowers was also down year on year, falling from £4.9 billion in the first quarter of 2012 to £3.2 billion in the first quarter of 2013.

All this said it is also worth noting that the HSBC is the only major lender not taking part in the funding for lending scheme.

On similar note, business ministers have recently called for the financial industry to become more transparent, therefore it seems that the HSBC is to become the first major bank to publish regional lending data on a regular basis.

A spokesperson for the bank said “we understand the public interest in lending figures and we are working with the British Bankers Association to provide lending data”.

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