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HSBC optimistic for the future

Banking giant HSBC has today delivered third-quarter figures which were better than expected and showed that bad debts provisions have fallen to their lowest level for 12 months. It is fair to say that these figures surprised many analysts who believed that in line with the general banking sector, HSBC Management would attempt to downplay any recovery and increase bad debt provisions.

Slowly but surely we seem to be seen a recovery in the UK banking sector with Barclays also making optimistic noises with its recent results. The only potential problem for the banking sector at the moment is the issue of bonuses and how the sector as a whole has benefited from massive taxpayer investment into the money markets. Finding a balance between rewarding staff and appreciating the risks and investments taken on behalf of UK taxpayers is difficult and many people believe at this moment in time the banks have got it wrong.

There is growing pressure to reduce short-term bonuses and at least start to appreciate the assistance which banks have received directly and indirectly from taxpayers. Whether we will see a dumbing-down of bonuses in the short term remains to be seen but there is growing anger amongst the government and UK taxpayers.

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