HSBC Bank Malta plc issued its Interim Directors’ Statement on 14 November. The Directors stated that despite challenging global and local market conditions, core income and profitability levels at HSBC Bank Malta plc remained satisfactory for the third quarter of the year to 30 September 2008. Customers’ deposits and loans increased in line with expectations over the same period and the Bank announced that there was no deterioration in the quality of the lending portfolio whilst liquidity and capital ratios remained strong and ahead of regulatory requirements. HSBC also confirmed that these trends have been sustained into the fourth quarter of 2008.
Group CEO Alan Richards stated that the Bank is financially sound, liquid and has a conservative balance sheet policy with relatively low reliance on funding from the wholesale markets while it has limited investments in corporate securities. The CEO also reiterated that although the banking system in Malta is in good shape, the consequences of a pronounced world economic slow down is bound to leave its mark on the local economy.