Adjusted revenue was down 4 percent on year as the stock market correction in Asia affected its Principal Retail Banking & Wealth Management unit, while revenue was also lower in the Global Banking & Markets unit.
Reported operating expenses of $9.0 billion were 19 percent lower than in the same period last year.
This largely reflected a net favorable movement in significant items compared with a year ago, principally a reduction in fines, settlements and UK customer redress, as well as the favorable effects of currency translation between the periods, HSBC said.
"There is more to achieve on costs and we expect the measures we have already taken to have a further impact in the fourth quarter. We also started a number of additional initiatives in the third quarter that will deliver savings before the end of the year," HSBC said in a statement.