The London-based bank posted a 15.9% year-on-year increase in pre-tax profits for 2018, falling short of forecasts, citing a cooling Chinese economy as a key factor.
HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, made $19.9 billion before tax last year, the BBC reports, up from $17.2 billion in 2017. Revenue saw a 5% increase from the previous year to $53.8 billion.
The bank has a heavy exposure to Asia, where three-quarters of its profits are generated. Ties to Asia have been central to HSBC’s corporate identity and long-term strategy, but sustained weakness brought on by trade with the US and a slump in demand might have near-term consequences.
Company chairman Mark E Tucker said that results were not a cause for concern and that the bank was “in a strong position”.
“Despite a challenging external environment in the fourth quarter, all of our global businesses delivered increased profits.”