HSBC Bank Malta plc - Full-Year Results

On 21 February 2024, HSBC Bank Malta plc published its Annual Report for the financial year ended 31 December 2023.

Performance Overview

Net interest income increased by 81% to €195.8 million (2022: €108.2 million) as gross interest income nearly doubled to €213.9 million (2022: €116.6 million), which in absolute terms outweighed the growth in interest costs which more than doubled to €18.0 million (2022: €8.40 million). In this respect, the Bank explained that the improvement was mainly driven by the additional increases to the ECB’s overnight deposit facility which boosted income from excess liquidity.

Excluding insurance operations, non-interest income dropped by 11.4% to €27.1 million (2022: €30.5 million) reflecting lower fee income from both personal and commercial banking lines of business.

Meanwhile, HSBC Life Assurance (Malta) Limited reported a profit before tax of €6.2 million compared to €3.9 million in 2022, which is a restated figure following the adoption on new reporting standards ‘IFRS 17.’ The improvement in profitability was attributed to market gains of the insurance asset portfolio.

The Group’s net operating income before changes in expected credit losses (ECL) climbed by 58.9% to €231.7 million compared to €145.8 million in the 2022 financial year. The financial performance was also boosted by the release of ECL’s amounting to €4.6 million, which however was lower than the release of €9.6 million in the previous year. HSBC Malta explained that the release of 2023 reflected the improvement in credit quality of customers and an improved economic outlook.

On the expenditure side, operating costs increased by 2.6% to €102.4 million as the increase in staff costs outweighed an insurance refund and cost savings on the Bank’s real estate portfolio.

Overall, HSBC Malta reported a profit before tax of €133.9 million, which is more than double the pre-tax profit of €55.6 million generated in 2022. After accounting for a tax charge of €47.1 million, the net profit figure for the year amounted to a record of €86.8 million (equivalent to €0.241 per share) which translates into a return on average equity of 17.1%.

The Statement of Financial Position as at 31 December 2023 shows that total assets increased by 4.4% (or €324.3 million) to €7.66 billion, principally consisting of higher levels of ‘Balances with the Central Bank of Malta, Treasury Bills and cash’ (+5.8% to €1.68 billion) and ‘financial investments’ (+31% to €1.32 billion). In contrast, customer loans dropped by 2.9% (or €91.3 million) to €3.08 billion.

On the liabilities side, customer deposits increased by a further 2.9% to €6.14 billion. As a result of the increase in deposits and the contraction in customer loans, the loans-to-deposits ratio dropped to a multi-year low of 50.2%.

Meanwhile, shareholders’ funds grew by 14.7% to €543 million reflecting the profit registered during the 2023 financial year and further gains in the Bank’s value of investments (accounted for directly in equity). This translates into a net asset value per share of €1.507 compared to €1.313 as restated for 31 December 2022. The bank’s capital ratios continued to improve during 2023 with the Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio increasing to 20.6% from 18.5% as at 31 December 2022. Similarly, the Total Capital Ratio rose to 23.5% from 21.3% as at the end of 2022. HSBC Malta also added that it continues to have a strong capital base and is fully compliant with regulatory capital requirements.


The Board of Directors is recommending a final net dividend of €0.0585 per share. The dividend will be paid on 25 April 2024 to all shareholders as at close of trading on 14 March 2024 subject to approval by the Annual General Meeting scheduled for 18 April 2024.

Coupled with the net interim dividend of €0.039 per share paid in September 2023, the total net dividend attributable for the 2023 financial year amounts to €0.0975 per share, which represents a payout ratio of 40% (2022: 35%).


Commenting on the results, HSBC Malta’s CEO Mr Geoffrey Fichte stated that HSBC’s record profit performance in 2023 reflected the inherent strength of HSBC Malta’s business and balance sheet. The bank benefitted from higher interest rates and strengthened business relationships with its customers. The CEO highlighted the €30 million investment in the new headquarters in Qormi and noted that the Group will also be replacing and upgrading its ATM fleet.