HSBC to raise £12.5billion as bosses give up bonuses

02 March 2009 / by Rebecca Sargent
HSBC has today announced a rights issue to raise £12.5billion from its shareholders following its 2008 results announcement.

The group revealed that its pre-tax profits fell 62 per cent year on year and now stand at around £6.5billion, making a rights issue necessary to boost HSBC Bank's balance sheet.

HSBC, like other high street banks, has been hit by the sub-prime mortgage market in the US, as it announced losses of $15.5billion in North America.

And, as debates over remuneration continue, HSBC bosses have announced they will not be taking a bonus for 2008.

Commenting on the results, HSBC Group chairman Stephen Green said: "2008 was the most extraordinary year for the global economy and financial services in well over half a century.

"It marked the first crisis of the era of globalised securitisation. And it also marked the first crisis of the just-in time global economy as the impact of the financial crisis fed rapidly straight into the performance of the real economy."

So far this year, profit announcements for Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group have damaged their reputation and trust, coupled with the fact that both banks have had to receive some hand out from the Government.

As yet, HSBC has abstained from receiving taxpayer money, and its announcement of a rights issue is nothing compared to RBS, which itself made a £12billion cash call last year, before being bailed out by the taxpayer and announcing a loss of £24billion for 2008.

Mr Green added: "We also intend to play our part in rebuilding public trust in our industry.

"It is clear that the banking industry got it wrong in the go-go years: we will play our part in helping the industry respond appropriately to the new realities."

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