The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

A prop-trading master class

Placing balance sheet management inside HSBC’s global banking and markets division presents Stuart Gulliver with a rather odd problem.

Last year the activity brought in revenue of $5.4 billion, up from $3.6 billion in 2008 and $1.2 billion in 2007. It is by far the biggest revenue line among the 13 separate businesses that HSBC reports inside global banking and markets. Gulliver now has to explain to shareholders why a decline in revenues in the next couple of years at his most profitable division will be a sign that he is doing a good job.

When Euromoney sits down with Gulliver he has just returned from a couple of days of meetings with investors and looks rather tired. If his audience has been grumpy at his message, he has at least learnt patience in how to explain it.

Having lots of liquidity is now considered by regulators and investors to be a good thing. HSBC’s conservative loans to deposits ratio means it has tonnes of the stuff. Right now, with rates so low, it’s tough to make any money from it. HSBC shareholders have benefited not just from the stability of having lots of liquidity but also from decisions taken three years ago about how to invest it.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree