HSBC's profits fell to a worse-than-expected $18.7 billion in 2014, hit by difficult Asian trading and geopolitical tensions, sending shares over 4 percent lower.
Analysts had forecast a median of $21 billion annual profit, down 7 percent from 2013.
HSBC addressed the allegations about tax evasion at its Swiss operations, saying: "We deeply regret and apologize for conduct and compliance failures." The bank has come under fire this month after leaked details of how its Swiss subsidiary helped wealthy clients avoid taxes hit the headlines.
HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver has had his own tax position dragged into the spotlight after the bank admitted he had a (totally legal) Swiss bank account, to hold his bonus payments from 1998-2003, for privacy reasons.
Gulliver, faces a grilling by U.K. MPs on Wednesday, told reporters Monday: " I have never paid less than the marginal UK tax rate."