HSBC: Treading carefully
Every bank has had to balance Covid and geopolitics in 2020, but few have had it harder than HSBC
HSBC has had a difficult 2020 navigating the challenges of Covid-19 and geopolitics.
Caught between the radically different interests of the US and China, and in an impossible situation in the fraught, pick-your-side environment of Hong Kong, it has had to tread exceptionally carefully.
The new three-year restructuring strategy chief executive Noel Quinn announced in February doesn’t sound particularly visionary – slash risk-weighted assets (RWAs), focus more on Asia, invest in technology and get more out of wealth – but visionary isn’t what’s needed for this bank at this point, so much as common sense and stability.
By the time the third-quarter results were announced in October, there were some signs of progress, certainly on the slashing side.