In his first earnings report since taking over as HSBC Bank Malta CEO in May, Geoffrey Fichte sought to demonstrate the multinational bank’s commitment to a long-term presence in the country, repeatedly emphasising its “confidence” in the local economy and touting its “investment in the future” and the “many opportunities” it has identified to grow it business here.
“HSBC is positive on Malta,” he said, pointing to the “major investment” in a new headquarters for Malta.
“We are excited to move into this state-of-the-art green building in the near future,” noting that the HSBC Hub is “purposely built for the long-term success of our customers and colleagues.”
Other planned major investments include upgrading and replacing the bank’s entire fleet of ATMs, introducing green loans, and digital and future skills training.
“Our main priority is improving customer services through better digital channels for customers while not losing the personalised service of our team. We leverage on our global strength being the leading international banking brand in Malta.”
Turning to the hot topic issue of the time, sustainability, Mr Fichte said it represents “the biggest transformation in the banking sector”.
“We are already taking action to reduce our carbon footprint but recognise that our biggest impact comes from working with customers to help them transition to a net zero economy and become more sustainable through our green loan offers.”
His comments were made in HSBC Malta’s interim results for the first half of 2023, during which the bank registered profit before tax of €59.3 million, an increase of 338 per cent from the €17.5 million registered in the corresponding period of last year.
“The turnaround strategy of HSBC Malta is off to a strong start,” wrote Mr Fichte, “with first half results showing higher profits before tax as a result of an increase in revenue, improved credit quality and effective cost management.”
On the back of the positive result, HSBC Malta announced an interim gross dividend of €0.06 per share – higher than the full year gross dividend paid out for 2022, and the highest interim dividend paid by the bank in seven years.
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