The bank said net profit dropped 1.2 percent to USD 13.52 billion from the previous year.

Group chairman Douglas Flint described the performance as "broadly satisfactory" in a statement, although the bank's pre-tax profit of USD 18.9 billion missed analysts' forecast of USD 21.8 billion.

HSBC also posted a fourth quarter pre-tax loss of USD 858 million, compared with the USD 1.95 billion profit forecast by the average of five analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

Last year HSBC announced a radical overhaul as it sought to boost profits and move past scandals that have scarred the British lender, including the rigging of foreign exchange markets.

The restructuring included the axing of 50,000 jobs globally. CEO Stuart Gulliver said in a statement today that those cost-reduction measures were "already having an impact". But after announcing last year that it would shed operations in Brazil and Turkey as part of cost slashing, Gulliver said the Turkey business would now remain.

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