London, 30 October 2023 – Responding to HSBC’s announcement this morning that its pre-tax profits for the third quarter of 2023 were £6.37 billion, compared to £2.67 billion for the same period last year (a 138% increase), taking its profits for 2023 so far to £24.3 billion, up from £9.9 billion last year (a 145% increase), Fran Boait, co-executive director of Positive Money said:
“Syphoning tens of billions away from households in hardship then handing it directly to banks during a cost of living crisis is despicable.
“Interest rate rises represent destitution by design; the pursuit of this policy is made worse by the fact that rate rises aren’t tackling the main drivers of inflation, which are coming from supply-side pressures.
“Instead of scrambling for pennies and punishing the poorest with cuts to essentials like benefits payments, the Chancellor should use the Autumn Statement to tap the banks for billions through a windfall tax.”
- HSBC’s Q3 profit announcement can be found here: https://www.hsbc.com/news-and-views/news/media-releases/2023/hsbc-holdings-plc-3q-2023-earnings-release
- Higher interest rates mean that the Bank of England is expected to pay an estimated £75bn of interest on banks’ risk free reserves over 2023 and 2024, with a total of around £150bn due to be paid out between 2022 and 2028. For more information see: http://positivemoney.org/wp-content/uploads/Bank-windfall-tax-briefing-2.pdf
- Positive Money is petitioning for this windfall to be taxed: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/tell-hunt-to-tax-the-banks/
- Calls for a windfall tax on banks have been echoed by MPs, including Angela Eagle, John McDonnell, Clive Lewis, Diane Abbott and Richard Burgon
- Polling commissioned by Positive Money found the majority of the public supports a windfall tax on banks: https://positivemoney.org/2023/09/uk-public-support-windfall-tax-on-banks-polling-shows/
- NatWest has cut 114 bank branches in 2023: https://www.which.co.uk/news/article/hsbc-to-close-114-branches-in-2023-aLWUH0R6u237
Positive Money campaigns for a money and banking system which supports a fair, democratic and sustainable economy. Set up in the aftermath of the financial crisis, Positive Money is a not-for-profit company funded by charitable trusts and foundations, as well as small donations from its network of over 65,000 supporters. www.positivemoney.org