HSBC half-year profits increase but warns of further uncertainty

HSBC’s profits rose 5% in the first half of the year after a turbulent 2016.

The results were better than expected with Europe’s largest bank reporting that its pre-tax profit for the first six months to June came in at $10.2bn (£7.8bn), compared with $9.7bn (£7.4bn) for the same period last year.

The bank has been on a recovery drive over the last two years to streamline the business and reduce costs. It has laid off tens of thousands of staff and shifted more of its focus towards Asia.

HSBC chairman Douglas Flint said there were still “uncertainties arising from increasing geopolitical tensions and ambiguous predictions around the shape of transition to, and final form of, the UK’s future relationship with its major trading partners in the EU” post-Brexit, but described HSBC’s performance as “resilient”.

HSBC confirmed earlier this year that it may have to move 1,000 roles from London to Paris due to Brexit over the next couple of years.

READ MORE: HSBC half-year profits up 5% after turbulent 2016

Government calls for compensation for poor broadband speeds

Hate having a slow internet connection? MPs do too. A new Government report is calling on Ofcom, the media and telecoms regulator, to get tough on broadband providers that promise fast speeds but fail to deliver.

The British infrastruture group of MPs, led by former Tory party chairman Grant Shapps, estimates that as many as 6.7m UK broadband connections may not hit the 10Mb minimum that the Government wants to be the UK standard for a basic decent service.

The Broadband 2.0 report, which is backed by 57 MPs, calls for automatic compensation for customers who do not get the level of speed promised from the internet packages they buy.

“Although broadband is increasingly considered to be an essential utility, the quality of customer services has simply not caught up with demand,” said Shapps. “It is unacceptable that there are still no minimum standards in the UK telecoms sector to protect customers from…