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HSBC Says Revenue Growth Slows

Europe's biggest bank HSBC Holdings said on Tuesday its financial performance in the third quarter was ahead of a year ago but its underlying revenue growth slowed from the first half of the year.

London-based HSBC attributed the slowdown in revenue growth to seasonal variations in fee income, a decision to slow the rate of lending in some markets, fewer gains on disposals and a weaker performance in its investment banking arm.

HSBC reported an 18-percent jump in pretax profit in the first six months of the year to $12.5 billion, spearheaded by strong growth at its investment bank and in emerging markets. Revenues rose 15% in the first six months of the year.

The bank said in a trading update before the end of the year that the rate of growth in underlying costs in the first nine months of the year was in line with the first-half rise, when they were up 12%.

It said bad debts in the third quarter were "modestly up" on both the previous quarter and the year ago quarter.

Bad debts in the U.K. continue to be driven by rising personal insolvencies, which "looks unlikely to abate in the medium term", the bank said.

It said the U.S. housing market also remained challenging.

HSBC said its corporate, investment banking and markets (CIBM) division's profits in the third quarter were well ahead of a year ago, but growth was weaker than the 37% jump reported in the first half.