HSBC Bank Malta plc - Interim Directors’ Statement

On 13 November, HSBC Bank Malta plc issued its Interim Directors’ Statement stating that the performance in the third quarter to 30 September 2009 was satisfactory. The Bank explained that while good progress was made in improving revenues and reducing costs, performance continues to be adversely impacted by the difficult trading conditions. The Directors stated that margin compression remains an ongoing challenge and the period under review also saw a small increase in loan impairments after the slowdown in the local economy impacted the lending portfolios.

The Directors explained that whilst a slight softening in demand has been felt, customers’ loans have performed well and the bank continues to provide responsible support for its customers. The Directors reiterated that the Bank’s credit quality during this period remained good whilst liquidity and capital ratios remain strong and well above regulatory requirements. Furthermore, HSBC said that due to the number of bond issues and growing competitive pressures during this period, the level of core deposits marginally declined. The Bank has maintained a strong liquidity position with steady and stable loans to deposits ratio whilst the credit quality of the available-for-sale investments portfolio has improved over the period under review.

HSBC Malta’s CEO Alan Richards stated that the Group is encouraged by HSBC’s performance during the third quarter of 2009. He remarked that although there are signs that markets are stabilizing, the Bank continues to monitor the economic situation closely. He stressed that HSBC remains well capitalized, liquid and very much open for business.

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