Analysts said the results reflected the bank's efforts to streamline operations around the world, throwing the bank's motto of being "the world's local bank" into doubt.
Chris Skinner, chief executive of Balatro, told CNBC the bank still had a lot of restructuring to do and that a 10 percent increase in underlying pre-tax profit was "low."
"Every bank that's had this universal banking aspiration, like the Citi's and Deutsche's [Citigroup and Deutsche Bank], have pulled back from those aspirations since the crisis hit and HSBC is one of those. They're no longer the world's local bank, they're the local bank in much of the world but not the whole of the world," Skinner told CNBC Europe's "Squawk Box"on Monday.
He added that banks needed to focus on what their "core competencies" were, as HSBC was doing.
Charles Diebel, head of market strategy at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking said the results reflected the "knock-on effects from the financial crisis".
"When are we going to get to the stage again when it will be trendy again to re-globalize because at the moment everyone is curtailing their activity rather than expanding their activity?"