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HSBC posts higher full-year earnings

Jeremy Simon

British banking giant HSBC posted a 21 percent increase in full-year net earnings for 2007, as strength in Asia helped the company overcome sizable impairments charges in its U.S. consumer-finance business.

HSBC’s announcement suggested that the increase in credit card delinquencies last year didn’t just impact U.S.-based lenders. Amid its credit card business, “In 2007, we saw a rise in overall delinquency rates among credit card customers, in part due to a change in product mix and historically low levels of bankruptcies in 2006,” HSBC Group Chairman Stephen Green said in the company announcement.

HSBC cardholders may have encountered a change in fees and lowered credit limits, while applicants with past credit problems could have been turned down when seeking an HSBC card: In addition to “modified fee practices” for its cards, HSBC said that in order “to improve the profitability of the credit card business in the long term” the bank “slowed loan and account growth by decreasing credit lines and tightening the criteria for authorizing initial credit lines.”

As for whether things are looking up this year, HSBC isn’t sure. “The outlook for the rest of 2008 is uncertain,” HSBC said. “The economic slowdown and the credit outlook in the United States may well get worse before they get better.” That could mean HSBC cardholders may continue to see credit line and fee adjustments as the bank struggles to remain profitable.

Nevertheless, HSBC sounded a positive note, saying its “emphasis on faster growing emerging markets means that we are better positioned than many of our competitors.”

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  • A word about HSBC Credit cards. Did you know that if you do not use the card for 6 months they send you a letter Claiming Equifax sent them a bad report on you thejh they reduce your credit limit. Then they send a negative report about you to Equifax , although the letter says delinquencies and non payment as from Equifax . They THEN semnd a negative report on you , Justifying their first lie, Then 6 months later if you do not use the card they cancel it with the same routine . I called HSBC and asked them about it . They said over the phone It was becauise i have not exercised my credit. I asked why did they say it was a terrible report from equifax. The reply was “I Don’t Know” I asked the person in customer service to send a letter explaining the true reason for the drop in credit line . the letter I recieved said Your Credit line has been reduced from (Date) and that was it. I lost 28 points on my Credit score due to their lie. I Never was late with a payment to them. I always paid the full amount off within 3 months, I never made a minimum payment, I simply had no need to use the card. Now that they have canceled it and again Blaming Equifax The same problems will go right on . How do you stop these lying Hyenas? Is it legal for them to lie and manufacure false information saying it first came from Equifax and then sending bad info on you top equifax to validate their lie? Can they treat people with total disregard in truth punishing them for not using their card?