Half-year results from HSBC (LSE: HSBA) were not very good. Profits at the banking giant were down by just over 16%, to £1.9bn. However, it was chairman Douglas Flint who grabbed the headlines, bemoaning that his bankers were frightened to take risks and that this was hurting the bank’s ability to make money.
This is good. Banks are not that profitable – and nor should they be. Despite big profit numbers, HSBC’s return on shareholders’ equity of 9.3% is modest – but it’s probably also no more than you should expect.
The days of juicing up returns [...]
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