Pictured above: HSBC Malta CEO Mark Watkinson addressing shareholders with Board of Directors
HSBC Bank Malta recently held its Annual General Meeting to provide shareholders with an overview of the Bank’s results in 2011, update them with a market and performance outlook for this year and to approve a number of resolutions.
During a presentation by HSBC Malta Chief Executive Officer, Mark Watkinson explained to shareholders how, in 2011, HSBC had delivered solid financial performance in very challenging market conditions. The Bank registered a profit before tax of €88.3 million increased by 6.3%, or €5.2 million, over the comparable period in 2010.
Mr Watkinson said: “HSBC Malta’s capital and liquidity position remained strong and we have a firm grip on both our risks and costs. While we are well placed for the challenging environment in 2012, we will continue to focus on improving productivity and cost effectiveness to ensure long-term business sustainability. The Bank’s strategy is clear, and we will continue to emphasise our competitive advantage as an international bank and as an important member of HSBC, one of the world’s largest, best capitalised and strongest financial institutions in the world.”
The Bank’s Chief Financial Officer, Josephine Magri, provided a detailed analysis of the 2011 financial results, explaining the Bank’s strong performance. She also updated the shareholders on developments including HSBC Malta’s rankings in terms of Group’s key performance indicators, and HSBC Malta’s share highlights and performance.
HSBC’s Chief Executive said that during 2011, the bank continued to invest in long-term sustainability by de-risking its available-for-sale book, selling its card acquiring business, and optimising its branch network. A voluntary early retirement scheme was concluded. A new €10 million banking computer system was introduced while the Bank continued to roll-out an €11 million upgrade of its branches and ATMs.
In its commitment to drive organic growth, HSBC Malta is leveraging its international dimension, aiming for selective asset growth, and supporting Malta’s vision to become a key financial centre.
HSBC remains one of the largest employers in Malta. In 2011 alone, its loans portfolio has increased by €656 million to go over the €3.3 billion mark. With €36.8 million, the Bank is a major tax contributor. In terms of corporate social responsibility, during the last 10 years, the HSBC Malta Foundation has donated over €3 million to support disadvantaged children, the environment, and Malta’s heritage.
Mr Watkinson said: “The outlook for 2012 is very challenging. While GDP growth in Malta is expected to remain positive, it will be lower than that of 2011, as the continuing uncertainty in the eurozone will likely affect the domestic economy. Reasons for optimism also exist as, among others, tourism and real estate sectors remained resilient in 2011 and Malta’s financial services platform continues to register growth. Confident in its abilities to rise to the challenges of these 12 months, HSBC Bank Malta remains cautiously optimistic and focused on long-term sustainability and as the Bank continues to invest in HSBC Malta franchise and its stakeholders,” he added.
The AGM confirmed the Directors appointed by the majority shareholder HSBC Europe BV: Mr Albert Mizzi (Chairman), Mr Mark Watkinson (Chief Executive Officer), Mr Philip Farrugia (Chief Technology & Services Officer), Mr Peter Boyles, Dr Philip Farrugia Randon and Mr Charles J Farrugia. Mr James Dunbar Cousin, Mr Peter Paul Testaferrata Maroni Viani and Mr Sonny Portelli were elected as non-Executive Directors.
All the ordinary resolutions presented during the meeting were approved by the shareholders in accordance with the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association.
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