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HSBC says net profit slides by 18% in first quarter due to bad debt charges

LONDON--Bank giant HSBC said on Wednesday that its net profit slid 18 percent in the first quarter as lower revenues offset cost cutting but added that bad debt charges fell.

Profit after tax stood at US$5.069 billion (3.64 billion euros) in the three months to the end of March compared with US$6.211 billion in the first quarter of 2013, the British bank said in an earnings statement.

“In the first quarter we maintained control of costs,” HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver said in the statement.

He added that “revenue was lower than the previous year's first quarter, which benefited from a number of specific items” and said that “loan impairment charges fell.”

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