HSBC says sorry (again) for Swiss bank unit
HSBC, a UK bank which withdraws advertising when it does not like newspaper coverage, apologised for compliance failures at its Swiss private bank. The apology came as the lender reported a 17pc drop in pre-tax profit this morning.
Europe's biggest bank said recent disclosures about past practices and behaviour at its Swiss private bank - where it has been accused of helping clients dodge taxes - reminded it of "how much there still is to do" at the bank.
"We deeply regret and apologise for the conduct and compliance failures highlighted which were in contravention of our own policies as well as expectations of us," the bank said.
HSBC reported a pre-tax profit of $18.7bn for 2014, down from $22.6bn the year before and below the average analyst forecast of $21bn, after costs rose more than expected and its investment bank had a grim fourth quarter. Chief executive Stuart Gulliver was paid £7.6m for 2014, one of the highest pay packets for a European bank boss.