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HSBC profiteering from poverty as it makes record high profits

HSBC is “profiteering from poverty,” campaigners warned today as the banking giant unveiled record-high yearly profits and nearly doubled the pay packet for its boss.

The bank said that its pre-tax profit surged by nearly 80 per cent to top $30.3 billion (£24bn) in 2023, from $17.1bn (£13.6bn) the year before.

The jump was helped by higher interest rates pushing up the cost of borrowing.

Chief executive Noel Quinn took home £10.6 million, up from £5.6m in 2022 and HSBC bankers shared bonuses worth $3.8bn (£3bn), surging by 12 per cent.

Positive Money co-executive director Fran Boait said: “It’s safe to say HSBC didn’t earn these record profits by providing a better service to customers, given that it closed a quarter of its bank branches last year.

“These are unearned windfall profits from higher interest rates.

“What we’re seeing is banks profiteering from poverty, which tens of millions of households are now living in, in part due to the same high interest rates which have enriched the banks.  

“To rebalance the unequal impact of high interest rates, the government must use a windfall tax on bank profits to pass all that excess money back to the struggling households it was stripped from.”

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