Published November 05, 2012
LONDON – HSBC has taken a $1.15 billion hit to cover a potential U.S. fine for lax anti-money laundering controls and to pay compensation for mis-selling products in Britain, eating into its quarterly profit.
While HSBC's earnings were helped by a sharp drop in bad debts, it set aside $800 million to cover a potential fine from U.S. regulators for breaches in anti-money laundering controls in Mexico, adding to $700 million put aside in July.
HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, said on Monday no agreement had been reached with U.S. authorities and the final resolution will likely involve criminal as well as civil charges. It said there was a high degree of uncertainty estimating the final cost and it was possible the amount will be significantly higher.
The bank reported an underlying profit - after stripping out the impact of disposals and changes in the value of its own debt - in the July-September quarter of $5.0 billion, up from a revised $2.2 billion a year earlier.
HSBC took another $353 million charge for mis-selling in Britain, mainly for payment protection insurance.
Shares in HSBC were down 2.6 percent by 0832 GMT, the biggest faller in the FTSE 100 index and trailing a 1.4 percent fall in the European banking index.
(Reporting by Steve Slater and Matt Scuffham; Editing by Dan Lalor)