HSBC has posted a sharp drop in profits for the first three months of the year after it was hit by “extreme levels of volatility” in financial markets in January and February.
The banking giant reported an 18% fall in underlying pre-tax profits to $5.43bn for the first quarter.
On a bottom-line basis, profits fell 14% to $6.11bn.
But the bank said it was a “resilient” performance in difficult market conditions, with the entire investment banking sector suffering after stock markets tumbled at the start of 2016 amid an oil price rout.
Shares in HSBC rose in Hong Kong trading as the profits fall was not as bad as most analysts had expected.
Group chief executive Stuart Gulliver said: “Market uncertainty led to extreme levels of volatility in January and February, which affected our ability to generate revenue in our markets and wealth management businesses.
“However, our diversified, universal-banking business model helped to cushion the impact through growth in other parts of the bank.”
The stock market woes left HSBC nursing a 28% plunge in underlying profits in its global banking and markets division, to $2bn after revenues dropped by 12%.
Earnings were also down by more than a quarter in its retail banking and wealth management arm – off 26% to $1.36bn.