RNS Number : 0929S
HSBC Holdings PLC
06 March 2019
 

 


Financial statements

Consolidated statement of comprehensive income
for the year ended 31 December

             


2018 $m

2017
$m

2016 $m

Profit for the year

15,025

11,879

3,446

Other comprehensive income/(expense)




Items that will be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss when specific conditions are met:




Available-for-sale investments

N/A

146                                                 (299)

 

- fair value gains

N/A N/A N/A N/A

1,227 (1,033) 93 (141)

475 (895) 71 50

 

- fair value gains reclassified to the income statement


- amounts reclassified to the income statement in respect of impairment losses


- income taxes


Debt instruments at fair value through other comprehensive income

(243)

N/A                                                  N/A

 

- fair value losses

(168) (95) (94) 114

N/A N/A N/A N/A

N/A N/A N/A N/A

 

- fair value gain transferred to the income statement on disposal


- expected credit losses recognised in the income statement


- income taxes


Cash flow hedges

19

(192)                                                 (68)

 

- fair value losses

(267)

317

(31)

(1,046)

833

21

(297)

195

34

 

- fair value losses reclassified to the income statement


- income taxes and other movements


Share of other comprehensive income/(expense) of associates and joint ventures

(64)

(43)                                                    54

 

- share for the year

(64)

(43)

54

 

Exchange differences

(7,156)

9,077                                          (8,092)

 

- foreign exchange gains reclassified to income statement on disposal of a foreign operation

-

(7,156)

-

-

8,939

138

1,894

(9,791)

(195)

 

- other exchange differences


- income tax attributable to exchange differences


Items that will not be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss:



 

Remeasurement of defined benefit asset/liability

(329)

2,419                                                    7

 

- before income taxes7

(388)

59

3,440

(1,021)

(84)

91

 

- income taxes


Changes in fair value of financial liabilities designated at fair value upon initial recognition arising from changes in own credit risk

2,847

(2,024)                                            N/A

 

- before income taxes

3,606

(759)

(2,409)

385

N/A N/A

 

- income taxes


Equity instruments designated at fair value through other comprehensive income

(27)

N/A                                                  N/A

 

- fair value losses

(71)

44

N/A N/A

N/A N/A

 

- income taxes


Effects of hyperinflation

283

N/A                                                  N/A

 

Other comprehensive income/(expense) for the year, net of tax

Total comprehensive income/(expense) for the year

Attributable to:



- ordinary shareholders of the parent company

8,083 90 1,029 1,153

18,914 90 1,025 1,233

(6,968) 90 1,090 836

- preference shareholders of the parent company

- other equity holders

- non-controlling interests

Total comprehensive income/(expense) for the year

10,355

21,262                                        (4,952)

 

For footnotes, see page 222.


215          HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018


Consolidated balance sheet

At


 


1     Balances at 1 January 2018 have been prepared in accordance with accounting policies referred to on page 224. 31 December 2017 balances have not been re-presented. Information regarding the effects of adoption of IFRS 9 can be found in Note 37.

The accompanying notes on pages 224 to 309, and the audited sections in: 'Global businesses and regions' on pages 47 to 64; 'Risk' on pages 69 to 147; 'Capital' on pages 148 to 151; and 'Directors' remuneration report' on pages 172 to 206 form an integral part of these financial statements.

These financial statements were approved by the Board of Directors on 19 February 2019 and signed on its behalf by:

Mark E Tucker                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ewen Stevenson

Group Chairman                                                                                                                                                         Group Chief Financial Officer

HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018  216


 


Consolidated statement of changes in equity
for the year ended 31 December

 

Other comprehensive income
(net of tax)

-                                       -                2,765                  (245)                     16            (7,061)                  -               (4,525)                  (145)          (4,670)

- debt instruments at fair value through other comprehensive income

-

-

-

-

-

-

(245)

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

(245)

-

2

(27)

(243)

(27)

- equity instruments designated at fair value through other comprehensive income

- cash flow hedges

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2,847

(301)

(64)

-

-

-

-

16

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

16

2,847

(301)

(64)

3

-

(28)

-

19

2,847

(329)

(64)

- changes in fair value of financial liabilities designated at fair value upon initial recognition arising from changes in own credit risk

- remeasurement of defined benefit asset/liability7

- share of other comprehensive income of associates and joint ventures

- effects of hyperinflation

-

-

283

-

-

-

-

283

-

283

- exchange differences

-

-

-

-

-

(7,061)

-

(7,061)

(95)

(7,156)

Total comprehensive income for the year

-                                       -             16,492                  (245)                     16            (7,061)                  -                  9,202                1,153            10,355

 

HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018 218


Financial statements

Consolidated statement of changes in equity (Continued)

Other reserves

 

Called up share capital and share premium

Other equity instru-ments2,3

Retained earnings4,5

Financial assets at FVOCI reserve8

Cash flow
hedging
reserve

Foreign
exchange
reserve

Merger
and other
reserves6

Total share-holders' equity

Non-controlling interests

Total
equity

$m                 $m                      $m                      $m                      $m                   $m                      $m                     $m                      $m                   $m

At 1 Jan 2016             22,263        15,112           143,976                  (189)                     34         (20,044)          27,308           188,460                9,058           197,518

Profit for the year                                                                         -                    -                2,479                       -                       -                    -                    -                  2,479                  967                 3,446

Other comprehensive income

(net of tax)                                                                                     -                    -                       59                 (271)                   (61)           (7,994)                  -               (8,267)                 (131)          (8,398)

  

- available-for-sale investments

-

-

-

-

-

-

(271)

-

-

(61)

-

-

-

-

(271)

(61)

(28)

(7)

(299)

(68)

 

- cash flow hedges


- remeasurement of defined benefit


asset/liability

-

-

5

-

-

-

-

5

2

7

 

- share of other comprehensive income of











 

associates and joint ventures

-

-

54

-

-

-

-

54

-

54

 

- foreign exchange reclassified to income











 

statement on disposal of a foreign











 

operation

-

-

-

-

-

1,894

-

1,894

-

1,894

 

- exchange differences

-

-

-

-

-

(9,888)

-

(9,888)

(98)

(9,986)

 

Total comprehensive income for
the year

-

-

2,538

(271)

(61)

(7,994)

-

(5,788)

836

(4,952)

Shares issued under employee remuneration and share plans

452

-

(425)

-

-

-

-

27

-

27

Shares issued in lieu of dividends and
amounts arising thereon

-

-

3,040

-

-

-

-

3,040

-

3,040

Net increase in treasury shares1

-

-

(2,510)

-

-

-

-

(2,510)

-

(2,510)

Capital securities issued

-

1,998

-

-

-

-

-

1,998

-

1,998

Dividends to shareholders

-

-

(11,279)

-

-

-

-

(11,279)

(919)

(12,198)

Cost of share-based payment arrangements

-

-

534

-

-

-

-

534

-

534

Other movements

-

-

921

(17)

-

-

-

904

(1,783)

(879)

At 31 Dec 2016

22,715

17,110

136,795

(477)

(27)

(28,038)

27,308

175,386

7,192

182,578

 

1     For further details, refer to Note 32. In February 2017, HSBC announced a share buy-back of up to $1.0bn, which was completed in April 2017. In July 2017, HSBC announced a share buy-back of up to $2.0bn, which was completed in November 2017. Shares bought back from these two buy-back programmes have been cancelled. In August 2016, HSBC announced a share buy-back of up to $2.5bn, which was completed in December 2016 and resulted in a net increase in shares held in treasury.

2     During 2018, HSBC Holdings issued $4,150m, £1,000m and SGD750m of perpetual subordinated contingent convertible capital securities on which there were $60m of external issuance costs, $49m of intra-Group issuance costs and $11m of tax benefits. In 2017, HSBC Holdings issued $3,000m, SGD1,000m and €1,250m of perpetual subordinated contingent convertible capital securities, on which there were $14m of external issuance costs, $37m of intra-Group issuance costs and $10m of tax benefits. In 2016, HSBC Holdings issued $2,000m of perpetual subordinated contingent convertible capital securities, after issuance costs of $6m and tax benefits of $4m. Under IFRSs these issuance costs and tax benefits are classified as equity.

3     During 2018, HSBC Holdings redeemed $2,200m 8.125% perpetual subordinated capital securities and its $3,800m 8.000% perpetual subordinated capital securities, Series 2, on which there were $172m of external issuance costs and $23m of intra-Group issuance costs wound down.

4     At 31 December 2018, retained earnings included 379,926,645 treasury shares (2017: 360,590,019; 2016: 353,356,251). In addition, treasury shares are also held within HSBC's Insurance business retirement funds for the benefit of policyholders or beneficiaries within employee trusts for the settlement of shares expected to be delivered under employee share schemes or bonus plans, and the market-making activities in Global Markets.

5     Cumulative goodwill amounting to $5,138m has been charged against reserves in respect of acquisitions of subsidiaries prior to 1 January 1998, including $3,469m charged against the merger reserve arising on the acquisition of HSBC Bank plc. The balance of $1,669m has been charged against retained earnings.

6     Statutory share premium relief under Section 131 of the Companies Act 1985 (the 'Act') was taken in respect of the acquisition of HSBC Bank plc in 1992, HSBC France in 2000 and HSBC Finance Corporation in 2003, and the shares issued were recorded at their nominal value only. In HSBC's consolidated financial statements, the fair value differences of $8,290m in respect of HSBC France and $12,768m in respect of HSBC Finance Corporation were recognised in the merger reserve. The merger reserve created on the acquisition of HSBC Finance Corporation subsequently became attached to HSBC Overseas Holdings (UK) Limited ('HOHU'), following a number of intra-Group reorganisations. During 2009, pursuant to Section 131 of the Companies Act 1985, statutory share premium relief was taken in respect of the rights issue and $15,796m was recognised in the merger reserve. The merger reserve includes a deduction of $614m in respect of costs relating to the rights issue, of which $149m was subsequently transferred to the income statement. Of this $149m, $121m was a loss arising from accounting for the agreement with the underwriters as a contingent forward contract. The merger reserve excludes the loss of $344m on a forward foreign exchange contract associated with hedging the proceeds of the rights issue.

7     During 2018, an actuarial gain of $1,180m has arisen as a result of the remeasurement of the defined benefit pension obligation of the HSBC Bank (UK) Pension Scheme. During 2017, an actuarial gain of $1,730m has arisen as a result of the remeasurement of the defined benefit pension obligation of the HSBC Bank (UK) Pension Scheme. Refer to Note 6 for further detail.

8     The $350m at 31 December 2017 represents the IAS 39 available-for-sale fair value reserve as at 31 December 2017.

9     Permitted transfers from the merger reserve to retained earnings were made when the investment in HSBC Overseas Holdings (UK) Limited was previously impaired. A part reversal of this impairment results in a transfer from retained earnings back to the merger reserve of $2,200m.

10 This includes a re-presentation of the cancellation of shares to retained earnings and capital redemption reserve in respect of the 2017 share buy-back, under which retained earnings have been reduced by $3,000m, called up capital and share premium increased by $2,731m and other reserves increased by $269m.

11  For further details refer to Note 32 .In May 2018, HSBC announced a share buy-back of up to $2.0bn, which was completed in August 2018.

219             HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018


HSBC Holdings income statement
for the year ended 31 December

2018                              2017                            2016

Notes                                  $m                                 $m                               $m

Net interest expense                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (1,112)                            (383)                          (424)

- interest income                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2,193                           2,185                         1,380

- interest expense                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (3,305)                        (2,568)                      (1,804)

Fee (expense)/income                                                                                                                                                                                                                         -                                    2                               (1)

Net income from financial instruments held for trading or managed on a fair value basis                                                       3                                     245                            (181)                             119

Changes in fair value of long-term debt and related derivatives                                                                                                     3                                    (77)                               103                            (49)

Changes in fair value of other financial instruments mandatorily measured at fair value                                                         3                                       43                                  -                                -

through profit or loss

Gains less losses from financial investments                                                                                                                                                                                   4                               154                                -

Dividend income from subsidiaries1                                                                                                                                                                                        55,304                         10,039                       10,436

Other operating income                                                                                                                                                                                                                    960                               769                             696

Total operating income                                                                                                                                                                                                                55,367                         10,503                       10,777

Employee compensation and benefits                                                                                                                                                   6                                    (37)                              (54)                          (570)

General and administrative expenses                                                                                                                                                                                    (4,507)                        (4,911)                      (4,014)

Reversal of impairment/(impairment) of subsidiaries2                                                                                                                                                         2,064                              (63)                                -

Total operating expenses                                                                                                                                                                                                           (2,480)                        (5,028)                      (4,584)

Profit before tax                                                                                                                                                                                                                            52,887                           5,475                         6,193

Tax (charge)/credit                                                                                                                                                                                                                             (62)                                 64                             402

Profit for the year                                                                                                                                                                                                                         52,825                           5,539                         6,595

1  2018 includes $44,893m (2017:nil) return on capital from HSBC Finance (Netherlands) resulting from restructuring the Group's Asia operation to meet resolution and recovery requirements. This amount does not form part of distributable reserves.

2  2018 includes a $2,200m (2017:nil) part reversal of the impairment previously recognised against HSBC Holdings investment in HSBC Overseas Holdings (UK) Limited. This amount does not form part of distributable reserves.

HSBC Holdings statement of comprehensive income
for the year ended 31 December

HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018  220


Financial statements

HSBC Holdings balance sheet

1     2018 includes a $56,587m (2017:nil) capital injection to HSBC Asia Holdings Overseas Limited.

2     Balances at 1 January 2018 have been prepared in accordance with accounting policies referred to on page 224. 31 December 2017 balances have not been re-presented. Information regarding the effects of adoption of IFRS 9 can be found in Note 37.

The accompanying notes on pages 224 to 309, and the audited sections in: 'Global businesses and regions' on pages 47 to 64, 'Risk' on pages 69 to 147, 'Capital' on pages 148 to 151 and 'Directors' remuneration report' on pages 172 to 206 form an integral part of these financial statements.

These financial statements were approved by the Board of Directors on 19 February 2019 and signed on its behalf by:

Mark E Tucker                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Ewen Stevenson

Group Chairman                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Group Chief Financial Officer

221             HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018


HSBC Holdings statement of cash flows
for the year ended 31 December

2018                         2017                          2016

(Restated)2 

$m                            $m                             $m

Profit before tax                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   52,887                       5,475                       6,193

Adjustments for non-cash items:

(46,878)

(17)                                                    48

- depreciation, amortisation and impairment/expected credit losses

70

-

(46,948)

33

(2)

(48)

10

34

4

- share-based payment expense

- other non-cash items included in profit before tax1

Changes in operating assets and liabilities



 


 


Interest received was $2,116m (2017: $2,103m; 2016: $1,329m) Interest paid was $3,379m (2017: $2,443m; 2016: $1,791m) and dividends received were $10,411m (2017: $10,039m; 2016: $10,412m)

1     2018 includes $44,893m (2017:nil) return on capital from HSBC Finance (Netherlands) resulting from restructuring the Group's Asia operation to meet resolution and recovery requirements.

2     The 2016 comparative figure for cash and cash equivalents was amended in 2017 to include loans and advances to HSBC undertakings of one month or less duration.

HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018  222


Financial statements

HSBC Holdings statement of changes in equity
for the year ended 31 December

 





Other reserves



Called up


Other

Financial

Other

Merger

Total
share-

share

Share

equity

Retained                   assets at

paid-in

and other

holders'

capital

premium

instruments

earnings1,3       FVOCI reserve

capital2

reserves3

equity

$m

$m

$m

$m                                     $m

$m

$m

$m

Other comprehensive income (net of tax)

-                                     -                         -                    865                      -                       -                      -                    865

 

- changes in fair value of financial liabilities designated at fair value upon initial recognition arising from changes in own credit risk

-

-

-

865

-

-

-

865

 

Total comprehensive income for the year

-                                     -                         -                53,690                    -                       -                      -              53,690

 

Profit for the year                                                                                                                   -                    -                         -               5,539                       -                      -                       -                 5,539

Other comprehensive income (net of tax)                                                                      -                    -                         -                  (828)                   (53)                     -                       -                   (881)

 

Total comprehensive income for the year

-

-

0

4,711

(53)

-

-

4,658

Shares issued under employee share plans

38

584

-

(52)

-

-

-

570

Shares issued in lieu of dividends and amounts arising thereon

190

(190)

-

3,205

-

-

-

3,205

Cancellation of shares

(164)

(2,836)

-

-

-

-

-

(3,000)

Capital securities issued

-


5,103

-

-

-

-

5,103

Dividends to shareholders

-

-

-

(11,551)

-

-

-

(11,551)

Cost of share-based payment arrangements

-

-

-

(2)

-

-

-

(2)

Other movements



-

(64)


10


(0)             

At 31 Dec 2017

10,160

10,177

22,107

23,903

59

2,254

35,127

103,787










At 1 Jan 2016

9,842

12,421

15,020

32,224

183

2,597

35,127

107,414

Profit for the year

-

-

-

6,595

-

-

-

6,595

Other comprehensive income (net of tax)

-

-

-

(896)

(72)

-

-

(968)

Total comprehensive income for the year

-

-

-

5,699

(72)

-

-

5,627

Shares issued under employee share plans

35

417

-

(51)

-

-

-

401

Shares issued in lieu of dividends and amounts arising thereon

219

(219)

-

3,040

-

-

-

3,040

Net increase in treasury shares

-

-

-

(2,510)

-

-

-

(2,510)

Capital securities issued

-


1,984

-

-

-

-

1,984

Dividends to shareholders

-

-

-

(11,279)

-

-

-

(11,279)

Cost of share-based payment arrangements

-

-

-

34

-

-

-

34

Other movements

-

-

-

499

1

(353)

-

147

At 31 Dec 2016

10,096

12,619

17,004

27,656

112

2,244

35,127

104,858

 

Dividends per ordinary share at 31 December 2018 were $0.51 (2017: $0.51; 2016: $0.51).

1     At 31 December 2018, retained earnings includes 326,503,319 ($2,546m) of treasury shares (2017: 326,843,840 ($2,542m); 2016: 325,499,152 ($2,499m)). Treasury shares are held to fund employee share plans.

2     Other paid-in capital arises from the exercise and lapse of share options granted to employees of HSBC Holdings subsidiaries.

3     HSBC Holdings distributable reserves at 31 December 2018 of $30,705m (2017: $38,031m) represents realised profits included in retained earnings of $14,974m (2017: $22,300m) and in merger reserve of $15,731m (2017: $15,731m). The distributable reserves are lower than retained earnings of $61,434m (2017: $23,903m). In 2018, income of $44,893m (2017:nil) generated from restructuring the Group's Asia operation to meet resolution and recovery requirements does not form part of distributable reserves.

4     This includes a re-presentation of the cancellation of shares to retained earnings and capital redemption reserve in respect of the 2017 share buy-back, under which retained earnings has been reduced by $3,000m, share premium increased by $2,836m and other reserves increased by $164m.

5     Permitted transfers from the merger reserve to retained earnings were made when the investment in HSBC Overseas Holdings (UK) Limited was previously impaired. A part reversal of this impairment results in a transfer from retained earnings back to the merger reserve of $2,200m.

223          HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018


Notes on the Financial Statements

   



Page



Page

1

Basis of preparation and significant accounting policies

224

21

Goodwill and intangible assets

272

2

Net fee income

237

22

Prepayments, accrued income and other assets

274

3

Net income/(expense) from financial instruments through profit or loss


23

Trading liabilities

274

24

Financial liabilities designated at fair value

274


measured at fair value

238

4

Insurance business

238

25

Debt securities in issue

275

5

Operating profit

240

26

Accruals, deferred income and other liabilities

275

6

Employee compensation and benefits

240

27

Provisions

275

7

Auditors' remuneration

246

28

Subordinated liabilities

277

8

Tax

246

29

Maturity analysis of assets, liabilities and off-balance sheet commitments

280

9

Dividends

249

10

Earnings per share

249

30

Offsetting of financial assets and financial liabilities

284

11

Trading assets

250

31

Non-controlling interests

285

12

Fair values of financial instruments carried at fair value

250

32

Called up share capital and other equity instruments

286

13

Fair values of financial instruments not carried at fair value

258


Contingent liabilities, contractual commitments



Financial assets designated and otherwise mandatorily measured at fair


33

and guarantees

288

14

value

259

34

Lease commitments

288

15

Derivatives

260

35

Legal proceedings and regulatory matters

289

16

Financial investments

263

36

Related party transactions

293

17

Assets pledged, collateral received and assets transferred

264

37

Effects of reclassification upon adoption of IFRS 9

296

18

Interests in associates and joint ventures

265

38

Events after the balance sheet date

301

19

Investments in subsidiaries

269

39

HSBC Holdings' subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates

301

20

Structured entities

270




 

1       Basis of preparation and significant accounting policies

1.1   Basis of preparation

(a)     Compliance with International Financial Reporting Standards

The consolidated financial statements of HSBC and the separate financial statements of HSBC Holdings have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards ('IFRSs') as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board ('IASB'), including interpretations issued by the IFRS Interpretations Committee, and as endorsed by the European Union ('EU'). At 31 December 2018, there were no unendorsed standards effective for the year ended 31 December 2018 affecting these consolidated and separate financial statements, and HSBC's application of IFRSs results in no differences between IFRSs as issued by the IASB and IFRSs as endorsed by the EU.

Standards adopted during the year ended 31 December 2018

HSBC has adopted the requirements of IFRS 9 'Financial Instruments' from 1 January 2018, with the exception of the provisions relating to the presentation of gains and losses on financial liabilities designated at fair value, which were adopted from 1 January 2017. This includes the adoption of 'Prepayment Features with Negative Compensation (Amendments to IFRS 9)', which is effective for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2019 with early adoption permitted. The effect of its adoption is not significant. IFRS 9 includes an accounting policy choice to remain with IAS 39 hedge accounting, which HSBC has exercised. The classification and measurement, and impairment requirements, are applied retrospectively by adjusting the opening balance sheet at the date of initial application. As permitted by IFRS 9, HSBC has not restated comparatives. Adoption reduced net assets at 1 January 2018 by $1,647m as set out in Note 37 of the Annual Report and Accounts 2018.

In addition, HSBC has adopted the requirements of IFRS 15 'Revenue from contracts with customers' and a number of interpretations and amendments to standards, which have had an insignificant effect on the consolidated financial statements of HSBC and the separate financial statements of HSBC Holdings.

IFRS 9 transitional requirements

The transitional requirements of IFRS 9 necessitated a review of the designation of financial instruments at fair value. IFRS 9 requires that the designation is revoked where there is no longer an accounting mismatch at 1 January 2018 and permits designations to be revoked or additional designations created at 1 January 2018 if there are accounting mismatches at that date. As a result:

·   fair value designations for financial liabilities were revoked where the accounting mismatch no longer exists, as required by IFRS 9; and

·   fair value designations were revoked for certain long-dated securities where accounting mismatches continue to exist, but where HSBC has revoked the designation as permitted by IFRS 9 since it will better mitigate the accounting mismatch by undertaking fair value hedge accounting.

The results of these changes are included in the reconciliation set out in Note 37.
Changes in accounting policy

While not necessarily required by the adoption of IFRS 9, the following voluntary changes in accounting policy and presentation were made as a result of reviews carried out in conjunction with its adoption. The effect of presentational changes at 1 January 2018 is included in the reconciliation set out in Note 37, and comparatives have not been restated.

HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018  224


Notes on the financial statements

·   We considered market practices for the presentation of certain financial liabilities, which contain both deposit and derivative components. We concluded that it would be appropriate to change the accounting policy and presentation of 'trading customer accounts and other debt securities in issue', to better align with the presentation of similar financial instruments by peers. This therefore provides more relevant information about the effect of these financial liabilities on our financial position and performance. As a result, rather than being classified as held for trading, we designate these financial liabilities as at fair value through profit or loss since they are managed and their performance evaluated on a fair value basis. A further consequence of this change in presentation is that the effects of changes in the liabilities' credit risk are presented in 'Other comprehensive income', with the remaining effect presented in profit or loss in accordance with Group accounting policy adopted in 2017 (following the adoption of the requirements in IFRS 9 relating to the presentation of gains and losses on financial liabilities designated at fair value).

·   Cash collateral, margin and settlement accounts have been reclassified from 'Trading assets' and 'Loans and advances to banks and customers' to 'Prepayments, accrued income and other assets' and from 'Trading liabilities' and 'Deposits by banks' and 'Customer accounts' to 'Accruals, deferred income and other liabilities'. The change in presentation for financial assets is in accordance with IFRS 9 and the change in presentation for financial liabilities is considered to provide more relevant information, given the change in presentation for the financial assets. The change in presentation for financial liabilities has had no effect on the measurement of these items and therefore on retained earnings or profit for any period.

·   Certain stock borrowing assets have been reclassified from 'Loans and advances to banks and customers' to 'Trading assets'. The change in measurement is a result of the determination of the global business model for this activity and will align the presentation throughout the Group.

·   Prior to 2018, foreign exchange exposure on some financial instruments designated at fair value was presented in the same line in the income statement as the underlying fair value movement on these instruments. In 2018, we have grouped the presentation of the entire effect of foreign exchange exposure in profit or loss and presented it within 'Net income from financial instruments held for trading or managed on a fair value basis'. Comparative data has been re-presented.

(b)     Differences between IFRSs and Hong Kong Financial Reporting Standards

There are no significant differences between IFRSs and Hong Kong Financial Reporting Standards in terms of their application to HSBC, and consequently there would be no significant differences had the financial statements been prepared in accordance with Hong Kong Financial Reporting Standards. The 'Notes on the financial statements', taken together with the 'Report of the Directors', include the aggregate of all disclosures necessary to satisfy IFRSs and Hong Kong reporting requirements.

(c)     Future accounting developments
Minor amendments to IFRSs

The IASB has published a number of minor amendments to IFRSs that are effective from 1 January 2019, some of which have been endorsed for use in the EU. HSBC expects they will have an insignificant effect, when adopted, on the consolidated financial statements of HSBC and the separate financial statements of HSBC Holdings.

Major new IFRSs

The IASB has published IFRS 16 'Leases' and IFRS 17 'Insurance Contracts'. IFRS 16 has been endorsed for use in the EU and IFRS 17 has not yet been endorsed. In addition, an amendment to IAS 12 'Income Taxes' has not yet been endorsed.

IFRS 16 'Leases'

IFRS 16 'Leases' has an effective date for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2019. IFRS 16 results in lessees accounting for most leases within the scope of the standard in a manner similar to the way in which finance leases are currently accounted for under IAS 17 'Leases'. Lessees will recognise a right of use ('ROU') asset and a corresponding financial liability on the balance sheet. The asset will be amortised over the length of the lease, and the financial liability measured at amortised cost. Lessor accounting remains substantially the same as under IAS 17. The Group expects to adopt the standard using a modified retrospective approach where the cumulative effect of initially applying it is recognised as an adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings and comparatives are not restated. The implementation is expected to increase assets by approximately $5bn and increase financial liabilities by the same amount with no effect on net assets or retained earnings.

IFRS 17 'Insurance Contracts'

IFRS 17 'Insurance Contracts' was issued in May 2017, and sets out the requirements that an entity should apply in accounting for insurance contracts it issues and reinsurance contracts it holds. IFRS 17 is currently effective from 1 January 2021. However, the IASB is considering delaying the mandatory implementation date by one year and may make additional changes to the standard. The Group is in the process of implementing IFRS 17. Industry practice and interpretation of the standard is still developing and there may be changes to it, therefore the likely impact of its implementation remains uncertain.

Amendment to IAS 12 'Income Taxes'

An amendment to IAS 12 was issued in December 2017 as part of the annual improvement cycle. The amendment clarifies that an entity should recognise the tax consequences of dividends where the transactions or events that generated the distributable profits are recognised. This amendment is effective for annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2019 and is applied to the income tax consequences of distributions recognised on or after the beginning of the earliest comparative period. As a result of its application, the income tax consequences of distributions on certain capital securities classified as equity will be presented in profit or loss rather than directly in equity. If the amendment had been applied in 2018, the impact for the year ended 31 December 2018 would have been a $261m increase in profit after tax (2017: $224m) with no effect on equity.

(d)     Foreign currencies

HSBC's consolidated financial statements are presented in US dollars because the US dollar and currencies linked to it form the major currency bloc in which HSBC transacts and funds its business. The US dollar is also HSBC Holdings' functional currency because the US dollar and currencies linked to it are the most significant currencies relevant to the underlying transactions, events and conditions of its subsidiaries, as well as representing a significant proportion of its funds generated from financing activities.

Transactions in foreign currencies are recorded at the rate of exchange on the date of the transaction. Assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies are translated at the rate of exchange at the balance sheet date, except non-monetary assets and liabilities measured at historical cost, which are translated using the rate of exchange at the initial transaction date. Exchange differences are included in other comprehensive income or in the income statement depending on where the gain or loss on the underlying item is recognised.

In the consolidated financial statements, the assets, liabilities and results of foreign operations, whose functional currency is not US dollars, are translated into the Group's presentation currency at the reporting date. Exchange differences arising are recognised in other comprehensive income. On disposal of a foreign operation, exchange differences previously recognised in other comprehensive income are reclassified to the income statement.

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(e)      Presentation of information

Certain disclosures required by IFRSs have been included in the sections marked as ('Audited') in this Annual Report and Accounts as follows:

·   segmental disclosures are included in the 'Report of the Directors: Financial summary' on pages 34 to 68;

·   disclosures concerning the nature and extent of risks relating to insurance contracts and financial instruments are included in the 'Report of the Directors: Risk' on pages 69 to 147;

·   capital disclosures are included in the 'Report of the Directors: Capital' on pages 148 to 151; and

·   disclosures relating to HSBC's securitisation activities and structured products are included in the 'Report of the Directors: Risk' on pages 69 to 147.

In accordance with the policy to provide disclosures that help investors and other stakeholders understand the Group's performance, financial position and changes to them, the information provided in the 'Notes on the financial statements' and the 'Report of the Directors' goes beyond the minimum levels required by accounting standards, statutory and regulatory requirements and listing rules. In addition, HSBC follows the UK Finance Disclosure Code ('the UKF Disclosure Code'). The UKF Disclosure Code aims to increase the quality and comparability of UK banks' disclosures and sets out five disclosure principles together with supporting guidance agreed in 2010. In line with the principles of the UKF Disclosure Code, HSBC assesses good practice recommendations issued from time to time by relevant regulators and standard setters, and will assess the applicability and relevance of such guidance, enhancing disclosures where appropriate.

(f)      Critical accounting estimates and judgements

The preparation of financial information requires the use of estimates and judgements about future conditions. In view of the inherent uncertainties and the high level of subjectivity involved in the recognition or measurement of items, highlighted as the 'critical accounting estimates and judgements' in section 1.2 below, it is possible that the outcomes in the next financial year could differ from those on which management's estimates are based. This could result in materially different estimates and judgements from those reached by management for the purposes of these financial statements. Management's selection of HSBC's accounting policies that contain critical estimates and judgements reflects the materiality of the items to which the policies are applied and the high degree of judgement and estimation uncertainty involved.

(g)     Segmental analysis

HSBC's Chief Operating Decision Maker is the Group Chief Executive, who is supported by the rest of the Group Management Board ('GMB'), which operates as a general management committee under the direct authority of the Board. Operating segments are reported in a manner consistent with the internal reporting provided to the Group Chief Executive and the GMB.

Measurement of segmental assets, liabilities, income and expenses is in accordance with the Group's accounting policies. Segmental income and expenses include transfers between segments, and these transfers are conducted at arm's length. Shared costs are included in segments on the basis of the actual recharges made.

(h)     Going concern

The financial statements are prepared on a going concern basis, as the Directors are satisfied that the Group and parent company have the resources to continue in business for the foreseeable future. In making this assessment, the Directors have considered a wide range of information relating to present and future conditions, including future projections of profitability, cash flows and capital resources.

1.2     Summary of significant accounting policies

(a)      Consolidation and related policies
Investments in subsidiaries

Where an entity is governed by voting rights, HSBC consolidates when it holds - directly or indirectly - the necessary voting rights to pass resolutions by the governing body. In all other cases, the assessment of control is more complex and requires judgement of other factors, including having exposure to variability of returns, power to direct relevant activities, and whether power is held as agent or principal.

Business combinations are accounted for using the acquisition method. The amount of non-controlling interest is measured either at fair value or at the non-controlling interest's proportionate share of the acquiree's identifiable net assets. This election is made for each business combination.

HSBC Holdings' investments in subsidiaries are stated at cost less impairment losses.
Goodwill

Goodwill is allocated to cash-generating units ('CGUs') for the purpose of impairment testing, which is undertaken at the lowest level at which goodwill is monitored for internal management purposes. HSBC's CGUs are based on geographical regions subdivided by global business, except for Global Banking and Markets, for which goodwill is monitored on a global basis.

Impairment testing is performed at least once a year, or whenever there is an indication of impairment, by comparing the recoverable amount of a CGU with its carrying amount.

Goodwill is included in a disposal group if the disposal group is a CGU to which goodwill has been allocated or it is an operation within such a CGU. The amount of goodwill included in a disposal group is measured on the basis of the relative values of the operation disposed of and the portion of the CGU retained.

Critical accounting estimates and judgements

The review of goodwill for impairment reflects management's best estimate of the future cash flows of the CGUs and the rates used to discount these cash flows, both of which are subject to uncertain factors as follows:

·     The future cash flows of the CGUs are sensitive to the cash flows projected for the periods for which detailed forecasts are available and to assumptions regarding the long-term pattern of sustainable cash flows thereafter. Forecasts are compared with actual performance and verifiable economic data, but they reflect management's view of future business prospects at the time of the assessment.

·     The rates used to discount future expected cash flows can have a significant effect on their valuation, and are based on the costs of capital assigned to individual CGUs. The cost of capital percentage is generally derived from a capital asset pricing model, which incorporates inputs reflecting a number of financial and economic variables, including the risk-free interest rate in the country concerned and a premium for the risk of the business being evaluated. These variables are subject to fluctuations in external market rates and economic conditions beyond management's control. They are therefore subject to uncertainty and require the exercise of significant judgement.

The accuracy of forecast cash flows is subject to a high degree of uncertainty in volatile market conditions. In such circumstances, management re-tests goodwill for impairment more frequently than once a year when indicators of impairment exist. This ensures that the assumptions on which the cash flow forecasts are based continue to reflect current market conditions and management's best estimate of future business prospects.

 

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Notes on the financial statements

HSBC sponsored structured entities

HSBC is considered to sponsor another entity if, in addition to ongoing involvement with the entity, it had a key role in establishing that entity or in bringing together relevant counterparties so the transaction that is the purpose of the entity could occur. HSBC is generally not considered a sponsor if the only involvement with the entity is merely administrative.

Interests in associates and joint arrangements

Joint arrangements are investments in which HSBC, together with one or more parties, has joint control. Depending on HSBC's rights and obligations, the joint arrangement is classified as either a joint operation or a joint venture. HSBC classifies investments in entities over which it has significant influence, and that are neither subsidiaries nor joint arrangements, as associates.

HSBC recognises its share of the assets, liabilities and results in a joint operation. Investments in associates and interests in joint ventures are recognised using the equity method. The attributable share of the results and reserves of joint ventures and associates is included in the consolidated financial statements of HSBC based on either financial statements made up to 31 December or pro-rated amounts adjusted for any material transactions or events occurring between the date the financial statements are available and

31 December.

Investments in associates and joint ventures are assessed at each reporting date and tested for impairment when there is an indication that the investment may be impaired. Goodwill on acquisitions of interests in joint ventures and associates is not tested separately for impairment, but is assessed as part of the carrying amount of the investment.

Critical accounting estimates and judgements

Impairment testing of investments in associates involves significant judgement in determining the value in use, and in particular estimating the present values of cash flows expected to arise from continuing to hold the investment. The most significant judgements relate to the impairment testing of our investment in Bank of Communications Co. Limited ('BoCom'). Key assumptions used in estimating BoCom's value in use, the sensitivity of the value in use calculation to different assumptions and a sensitivity analysis that shows the changes in key assumptions that would reduce the excess of value in use over the carrying amount (the 'headroom') to nil are described in Note 18.

(b)     Income and expense

Operating income

Interest income and expense

Interest income and expense for all financial instruments, excluding those classified as held for trading or designated at fair value, are recognised in 'Interest income' and 'Interest expense' in the income statement using the effective interest method. However, as an exception to this, interest on debt securities issued by HSBC that are designated under the fair value option and on derivatives managed in conjunction with those debt securities is included in interest expense.

Interest on credit-impaired financial assets is recognised using the rate of interest used to discount the future cash flows for the purpose of measuring the impairment loss.

Non-interest income and expense

HSBC generates fee income from services provided at a fixed price over time, such as account service and card fees, or when HSBC delivers a specific transaction at a point in time, such as broking services and import/export services. With the exception of certain fund management and performance fees, all other fees are generated at a fixed price. Fund management and performance fees can be variable depending on the size of the customer portfolio and HSBC's performance as fund manager. Variable fees are recognised when all uncertainties are resolved. Fee income is generally earned from short-term contracts with payment terms that do not include a significant financing component.

HSBC acts as principal in the majority of contracts with customers, with the exception of broking services. For most brokerage trades, HSBC acts as agent in the transaction and recognises broking income net of fees payable to other parties in the arrangement.

HSBC recognises fees earned on transaction-based arrangements at a point in time when we have fully provided the service to the customer. Where the contract requires services to be provided over time, income is recognised on a systematic basis over the life of the agreement.

Where HSBC offers a package of services that contains multiple non-distinct performance obligations, such as those included in account service packages, the promised services are treated as a single performance obligation. If a package of services contains distinct performance obligations, such as those including both account and insurance services, the corresponding transaction price is allocated to each performance obligation based on the estimated stand-alone selling prices.

Dividend income is recognised when the right to receive payment is established. This is the ex-dividend date for listed equity securities, and usually the date when shareholders approve the dividend for unlisted equity securities.

Net income/(expense) from financial instruments measured at fair value through profit or loss includes the following:

·   'Net income from financial instruments held for trading or managed on a fair value basis': This comprises net trading income, which includes all gains and losses from changes in the fair value of financial assets and financial liabilities held for trading, together with the related interest income, expense and dividends. It also includes all gains and losses from changes in the fair value of derivatives that are managed in conjunction with financial assets and liabilities measured at fair value through profit or loss.

·   'Net income/(expense)from assets and liabilities of insurance businesses, including related derivatives, measured at fair value through profit or loss': This includes interest income, interest expense and dividend income in respect of financial assets and liabilities measured at fair value through profit or loss; and those derivatives managed in conjunction with the above that can be separately identifiable from other trading derivatives.

·   'Changes in fair value of long-term debt and related derivatives': Interest paid on the external long-term debt and interest cash flows on related derivatives is presented in interest expense.

·   'Changes in fair value of other financial instruments mandatorily measured at fair value through profit or loss': This includes interest on instruments that fail the solely payments of principal and interest ('SPPI') test, see (d) below.

The accounting policies for insurance premium income are disclosed in Note 1.2(j).

(c)     Valuation of financial instruments

All financial instruments are initially recognised at fair value. Fair value is the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. The fair value of a financial instrument on initial recognition is generally its

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transaction price (that is, the fair value of the consideration given or received). However, if there is a difference between the transaction price and the fair value of financial instruments whose fair value is based on a quoted price in an active market or a valuation technique that uses only data from observable markets, HSBC recognises the difference as a trading gain or loss at inception (a 'day 1 gain or loss'). In all other cases, the entire day 1 gain or loss is deferred and recognised in the income statement over the life of the transaction until the transaction matures, is closed out, the valuation inputs become observable or HSBC enters into an offsetting transaction.

The fair value of financial instruments is generally measured on an individual basis. However, in cases where HSBC manages a group of financial assets and liabilities according to its net market or credit risk exposure, the fair value of the group of financial instruments is measured on a net basis but the underlying financial assets and liabilities are presented separately in the financial statements, unless they satisfy the IFRS offsetting criteria.

Critical accounting estimates and judgements

The majority of valuation techniques employ only observable market data. However, certain financial instruments are classified on the basis of valuation techniques that feature one or more significant market inputs that are unobservable, and for them the measurement of fair value is more judgemental. An instrument in its entirety is classified as valued using significant unobservable inputs if, in the opinion of management, greater than 5% of the instrument's valuation is driven by unobservable inputs. 'Unobservable' in this context means that there is little or no current market data available from which to determine the price at which an arm's length transaction would be likely to occur. It generally does not mean that there is no data available at all upon which to base a determination of fair value (consensus pricing data may, for example, be used).

(d)  Financial instruments measured at amortised cost

Financial assets that are held to collect the contractual cash flows and which contain contractual terms that give rise on specified dates to cash flows that are solely payments of principal and interest are measured at amortised cost. Such financial assets include most loans and advances to banks and customers and some debt securities. In addition, most financial liabilities are measured at amortised cost. HSBC accounts for regular way amortised cost financial

instruments using trade date accounting. The carrying value of these financial assets at initial recognition includes any directly attributable transactions costs. If the initial fair value is lower than the cash amount advanced, such as in the case of some leveraged finance and syndicated lending activities, the difference is deferred and recognised over the life of the loan through the recognition of interest income.

HSBC may commit to underwriting loans on fixed contractual terms for specified periods of time. When the loan arising from the lending commitment is expected to be held for trading, the commitment to lend is recorded as a derivative. When HSBC intends to hold the loan, the loan commitment is included in the impairment calculations set out below.

Non-trading reverse repurchase, repurchase and similar agreements

When debt securities are sold subject to a commitment to repurchase them at a predetermined price ('repos'), they remain on the balance sheet and a liability is recorded in respect of the consideration received. Securities purchased under commitments to resell ('reverse repos') are not recognised on the balance sheet and an asset is recorded in respect of the initial consideration paid. Non-trading repos and reverse repos are measured at amortised cost. The difference between the sale and repurchase price or between the purchase and resale price is treated as interest and recognised in net interest income over the life of the agreement.

Contracts that are economically equivalent to reverse repo or repo agreements (such as sales or purchases of debt securities entered into together with total return swaps with the same counterparty) are accounted for similarly to, and presented together with, reverse repo or repo agreements.

(e)  Financial assets measured at fair value through other comprehensive income

Financial assets held for a business model that is achieved by both collecting contractual cash flows and selling and which contain contractual terms that give rise on specified dates to cash flows that are solely payments of principal and interest are measured at fair value through other comprehensive income ('FVOCI'). These comprise primarily debt securities. They are recognised on the trade date when HSBC enters into contractual arrangements to purchase and are normally derecognised when they are either sold or redeemed. They are subsequently remeasured at fair value and changes therein (except for those relating to impairment, interest income and foreign currency exchange gains and losses) are recognised in other comprehensive income until the assets are sold. Upon disposal, the cumulative gains or losses in other comprehensive income are recognised in the income statement as 'Gains less losses from financial instruments'. Financial assets measured at FVOCI are included in the impairment calculations set out below and impairment is recognised in profit or loss.

(f)  Equity securities measured at fair value with fair value movements presented in other comprehensive income

The equity securities for which fair value movements are shown in other comprehensive income are business facilitation and other similar investments where HSBC holds the investments other than to generate a capital return. Gains or losses on the derecognition of these equity securities are not transferred to profit or loss. Otherwise, equity securities are measured at fair value through profit or loss (except for dividend income which is recognised in profit or loss).

(g)  Financial instruments designated at fair value through profit or loss

Financial instruments, other than those held for trading, are classified in this category if they meet one or more of the criteria set out below and are so designated irrevocably at inception:

·   the use of the designation removes or significantly reduces an accounting mismatch;

·   a group of financial assets and liabilities or a group of financial liabilities is managed and its performance is evaluated on a fair value basis, in accordance with a documented risk management or investment strategy; and

·   the financial liability contains one or more non-closely related embedded derivatives.

Designated financial assets are recognised when HSBC enters into contracts with counterparties, which is generally on trade date, and are normally derecognised when the rights to the cash flows expire or are transferred. Designated financial liabilities are recognised when HSBC enters into contracts with counterparties, which is generally on settlement date, and are normally derecognised when extinguished. Subsequent changes in fair values are recognised in the income statement in 'Net income from financial instruments held for trading or managed on a fair value basis' or 'Net income/(expense) from assets and liabilities of insurance businesses, including related derivatives, measured at fair value through profit or loss'.

Under the above criterion, the main classes of financial instruments designated by HSBC are:

·   Long-term debt issues: The interest and/or foreign exchange exposure on certain fixed-rate debt securities issued has been matched with the interest and/or foreign exchange exposure on certain swaps as part of a documented risk management strategy.

·   Financial assets and financial liabilities under unit-linked and non-linked investment contracts: a contract under which HSBC does not accept significant insurance risk from another party is not classified as an insurance contract, other than investment contracts with discretionary participation features ('DPF'), but is accounted for as a financial liability. Customer liabilities under linked and certain non-linked investment contracts issued by insurance subsidiaries are determined based on the fair value of the assets held in the linked funds. If no fair value designation was made for the related assets, at

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Notes on the financial statements

least some of the assets would otherwise be measured at either fair value through other comprehensive income or amortised cost. The related financial assets and liabilities are managed and reported to management on a fair value basis. Designation at fair value of the financial assets and related liabilities allows changes in fair values to be recorded in the income statement and presented in the same line.

(h)     Derivatives

Derivatives are financial instruments that derive their value from the price of underlying items such as equities, interest rates or other indices. Derivatives are recognised initially and are subsequently measured at fair value through profit or loss. Derivatives are classified as assets when their fair value is positive or as liabilities when their fair value is negative. This includes embedded derivatives in financial liabilities, which are bifurcated from the host contract when they meet the definition of a derivative on a stand-alone basis.

Where the derivatives are managed with debt securities issued by HSBC that are designated at fair value, the contractual interest is shown in 'Interest expense' together with the interest payable on the issued debt.

Hedge accounting

When derivatives are not part of fair value designated relationships, if held for risk management purposes they are designated in hedge accounting relationships where the required criteria for documentation and hedge effectiveness are met. HSBC uses these derivatives or, where allowed, other non-derivative hedging instruments in fair value hedges, cash flow hedges or hedges of net investments in foreign operations as appropriate to the risk being hedged.

Fair value hedge

Fair value hedge accounting does not change the recording of gains and losses on derivatives and other hedging instruments, but results in recognising changes in the fair value of the hedged assets or liabilities attributable to the hedged risk that would not otherwise be recognised in the income statement. If a hedge relationship no longer meets the criteria for hedge accounting, hedge accounting is discontinued; the cumulative adjustment to the carrying amount of the hedged item is amortised to the income statement on a recalculated effective interest rate, unless the hedged item has been derecognised, in which case it is recognised in the income statement immediately.

Cash flow hedge

The effective portion of gains and losses on hedging instruments is recognised in other comprehensive income; the ineffective portion of the change in fair value of derivative hedging instruments that are part of a cash flow hedge relationship is recognised immediately in the income statement within 'Net income from financial instruments held for trading or managed on a fair value basis'. The accumulated gains and losses recognised in other comprehensive income are reclassified to the income statement in the same periods in which the hedged item affects profit or loss. When a hedge relationship is discontinued, or partially discontinued, any cumulative gain or loss recognised in other comprehensive income remains in equity until the forecast transaction is recognised in the income statement. When a forecast transaction is no longer expected to occur, the cumulative gain or loss previously recognised in other comprehensive income is immediately reclassified to the income statement.

Net investment hedge

Hedges of net investments in foreign operations are accounted for in a similar way to cash flow hedges. The effective portion of gains and losses on the hedging instrument is recognised in other comprehensive income; other gains and losses are recognised immediately in the income statement. Gains and losses previously recognised in other comprehensive income are reclassified to the income statement on the disposal, or part disposal, of the foreign operation.

Derivatives that do not qualify for hedge accounting

Non-qualifying hedges are derivatives entered into as economic hedges of assets and liabilities for which hedge accounting was not applied.

Critical accounting estimates and judgements

As a result of the request received by the Financial Stability Board from the G20, a fundamental review and reform of the major interest rate benchmarks is under way across the world's largest financial markets. The process of replacing existing benchmark interbank offered rates ('I bors') with alternative risk-free rates ('RFRs') is at different stages, and is progressing at different speeds, across several major jurisdictions. There is therefore uncertainty as to the timing and the methods of transition for many financial products affected by these changes, and whether some existing benchmarks will continue to be supported in some way.

As a result of these developments, significant accounting judgement is involved in determining whether certain hedge accounting relationships that hedge the variability of cash flows and interest rate risk due to changes in Ibors continue to qualify for hedge accounting as at 31 December 2018. Management's judgement is that those existing hedge accounting relationships continue to be supported at the 2018 year-end. Even though there are plans to replace those rates with economically similar rates based on new RFRs over the next few years, there is widespread continued reliance on Ibors in market pricing structures for long-term products with maturities over the hedged horizons that extend beyond the timescales for replacing Ibors. In addition there is a current absence of term structures on the new RFRs. This judgement will be kept under review in future as markets based on the new RFRs develop, taking into consideration any specific accounting guidance that may be developed to deal with these unusual circumstances. The IASB has commenced the due process for providing clarification on how the guidance for hedge accounting in IAS 39 'Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement' and IFRS 9: 'Financial Instruments' should be applied in these circumstances, which were not contemplated when the standards were published.

(i)      Impairment of amortised cost and FVOCI financial assets

Expected credit losses ('ECL') are recognised for loans and advances to banks and customers, non-trading reverse repurchase agreements, other financial assets held at amortised cost, debt instruments measured at FVOCI, and certain loan commitments and financial guarantee contracts. At initial recognition, allowance (or provision in the case of some loan commitments and financial guarantees) is required for ECL resulting from default events that are possible within the next 12 months, or less, where the remaining life is less than 12 months ('12-month ECL'). In the event of a significant increase in credit risk, allowance (or provision) is required for ECL resulting from all possible default events over the expected life of the financial instrument ('lifetime ECL'). Financial assets where 12-month ECL is recognised are considered to be 'stage 1'; financial assets that are considered to have experienced a significant increase in credit risk are in 'stage 2'; and financial assets for which there is objective evidence of impairment so are considered to be in default or otherwise credit impaired are in 'stage 3'. Purchased or originated credit-impaired financial assets ('POCI') are treated differently, as set out below.

Credit impaired (stage 3)

HSBC determines that a financial instrument is credit impaired and in stage 3 by considering relevant objective evidence, primarily whether:

· contractual payments of either principal or interest are past due for more than 90 days;

· there are other indications that the borrower is unlikely to pay, such as when a concession has been granted to the borrower for economic or legal reasons relating to the borrower's financial condition; and

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·   the loan is otherwise considered to be in default.

If such unlikeliness to pay is not identified at an earlier stage, it is deemed to occur when an exposure is 90 days past due, even where regulatory rules permit default to be defined based on 180 days past due. Therefore the definitions of credit impaired and default are aligned as far as possible so that stage 3 represents all loans that are considered defaulted or otherwise credit impaired.

Interest income is recognised by applying the effective interest rate to the amortised cost amount, i.e. gross carrying amount less ECL allowance. Write-off

Financial assets (and the related impairment allowances) are normally written off, either partially or in full, when there is no realistic prospect of recovery. Where loans are secured, this is generally after receipt of any proceeds from the realisation of security. In circumstances where the net realisable value of any collateral has been determined and there is no reasonable expectation of further recovery, write-off may be earlier.

Renegotiation

Loans are identified as renegotiated and classified as credit impaired when we modify the contractual payment terms due to significant credit distress of the borrower. Renegotiated loans remain classified as credit impaired until there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate a significant reduction in the risk of non-payment of future cash flows and retain the designation of renegotiated until maturity or derecognition.

A loan that is renegotiated is derecognised if the existing agreement is cancelled and a new agreement is made on substantially different terms, or if the terms of an existing agreement are modified such that the renegotiated loan is a substantially different financial instrument. Any new loans that arise following derecognition events in these circumstances are considered to be POCI and will continue to be disclosed as renegotiated loans.

Other than originated credit-impaired loans, all other modified loans could be transferred out of stage 3 if they no longer exhibit any evidence of being credit impaired and, in the case of renegotiated loans, there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate a significant reduction in the risk of non-payment of future cash flows over the minimum observation period, and there are no other indicators of impairment. These loans could be transferred to stage 1 or 2 based on the mechanism as described below by comparing the risk of a default occurring at the reporting date (based on the modified contractual terms) and the risk of a default occurring at initial recognition (based on the original, unmodified contractual terms). Any amount written off as a result of the modification of contractual terms would not be reversed.

Loan modifications that are not credit impaired

Loan modifications that are not identified as renegotiated are considered to be commercial restructuring. Where a commercial restructuring results in a modification (whether legalised through an amendment to the existing terms or the issuance of a new loan contract) such that HSBC's rights to the cash flows under the original contract have expired, the old loan is derecognised and the new loan is recognised at fair value. The rights to cash flows are generally considered to have expired if the commercial restructure is at market rates and no payment-related concession has been provided.


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Notes on the financial statements

Significant increase in credit risk (stage 2)

An assessment of whether credit risk has increased significantly since initial recognition is performed at each reporting period by considering the change in the risk of default occurring over the remaining life of the financial instrument. The assessment explicitly or implicitly compares the risk of default occurring at the reporting date compared with that at initial recognition, taking into account reasonable and supportable information, including information about past events, current conditions and future economic conditions. The assessment is unbiased, probability-weighted, and to the extent relevant, uses forward-looking information consistent with that used in the measurement of ECL. The analysis of credit risk is multifactor. The determination of whether a specific factor is relevant and its weight compared with other factors depends on the type of product, the characteristics of the financial instrument and the borrower, and the geographical region. Therefore, it is not possible to provide a single set of criteria that will determine what is considered to be a significant increase in credit risk, and these criteria will differ for different types of lending, particularly between retail and wholesale. However, unless identified at an earlier stage, all financial assets are deemed to have suffered a significant increase in credit risk when 30 days past due. In addition, wholesale loans that are individually assessed, typically corporate and commercial customers, and included on a watch or worry list, are included in stage 2.

For wholesale portfolios, the quantitative comparison assesses default risk using a lifetime probability of default ('PD') which encompasses a wide range of information including the obligor's customer risk rating ('CRR'), macroeconomic condition forecasts and credit transition probabilities. For origination CRRs up to 3.3, significant increase in credit risk is measured by comparing the average PD for the remaining term estimated at origination with the equivalent estimation at the reporting date. The quantitative measure of significance varies depending on the credit quality at origination as follows:

0.1-1.2                                                                                                                                                         15bps

For CRRs greater than 3.3 that are not impaired, a significant increase in credit risk is considered to have occurred when the origination PD has doubled. The significance of changes in PD was informed by expert credit risk judgement, referenced to historical credit migrations and to relative changes in external market rates.

For loans originated prior to the implementation of IFRS 9, the origination PD does not include adjustments to reflect expectations of future macroeconomic conditions since these are not available without the use of hindsight. In the absence of this data, origination PD must be approximated assuming through-the-cycle ('TTC') PDs and TTC migration probabilities, consistent with the instrument's underlying modelling approach and the CRR at origination. For these loans, the quantitative comparison is supplemented with additional CRR deterioration-based thresholds, as set out in the table below:

Further information about the 23-grade scale used for CRR can be found on page 80.

For certain portfolios of debt securities where external market ratings are available and credit ratings are not used in credit risk management, the debt securities will be in stage 2 if their credit risk increases to the extent they are no longer considered investment grade. Investment grade is where the financial instrument has a low risk of incurring losses, the structure has a strong capacity to meet its contractual cash flow obligations in the near term, and adverse changes in economic and business conditions in the longer term may, but will not necessarily, reduce the ability of the borrower to fulfil their contractual cash flow obligations.

For retail portfolios, default risk is assessed using a reporting date 12-month PD derived from credit scores, which incorporates all available information about the customer. This PD is adjusted for the effect of macroeconomic forecasts for periods longer than 12 months and is considered to be a reasonable approximation of a lifetime PD measure. Retail exposures are first segmented into homogeneous portfolios, generally by country, product and brand. Within each portfolio, the stage 2 accounts are defined as accounts with an adjusted 12-month PD greater than the average 12-month PD of loans in that portfolio 12 months before they become 30 days past due. The expert credit risk judgement is that no prior increase in credit risk is significant. This portfolio-specific threshold identifies loans with a PD higher than would be expected from loans that are performing as originally expected, and higher than what would have been acceptable at origination. It therefore approximates a comparison of origination to reporting date PDs.

Unimpaired and without significant increase in credit risk - (stage 1)

ECL resulting from default events that are possible within the next 12 months (12-month ECL) are recognised for financial instruments that remain in stage 1.

Purchased or originated credit impaired

Financial assets that are purchased or originated at a deep discount that reflects the incurred credit losses are considered to be POCI. This population includes the recognition of a new financial instrument following a renegotiation where concessions have been granted for economic or contractual reasons relating to the borrower's financial difficulty that otherwise would not have been considered. The amount of change-in-lifetime ECL is recognised in profit or loss until the POCI is derecognised, even if the lifetime ECL are less than the amount of ECL included in the estimated cash flows on initial recognition.

Movement between stages

Financial assets can be transferred between the different categories (other than POCI) depending on their relative increase in credit risk since initial recognition. Financial instruments are transferred out of stage 2 if their credit risk is no longer considered to be significantly increased since initial recognition based on the assessments described above. Except for renegotiated loans, financial instruments are transferred out of stage 3 when they no longer exhibit any evidence of credit impairment as described above. Renegotiated loans that are not POCI will continue to be in stage 3 until there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate a significant reduction in the risk of non-payment of future cash flows, observed over a minimum one-year period and there are no other indicators of impairment. For loans that are assessed for impairment on a portfolio basis, the evidence typically comprises a history of payment performance against the original or revised terms, as appropriate to the circumstances. For loans that are assessed for impairment on an individual basis, all available evidence is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Measurement of ECL

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The assessment of credit risk and the estimation of ECL are unbiased and probability-weighted, and incorporate all available information that is relevant to the assessment including information about past events, current conditions and reasonable and supportable forecasts of future events and economic conditions at the reporting date. In addition, the estimation of ECL should take into account the time value of money.

In general, HSBC calculates ECL using three main components: a probability of default, a loss given default ('LGD') and the exposure at default ('EAD').

The 12-month ECL is calculated by multiplying the 12-month PD, LGD and EAD. Lifetime ECL is calculated using the lifetime PD instead. The 12-month and lifetime PDs represent the probability of default occurring over the next 12 months and the remaining maturity of the instrument respectively.

The EAD represents the expected balance at default, taking into account the repayment of principal and interest from the balance sheet date to the default event together with any expected drawdowns of committed facilities. The LGD represents expected losses on the EAD given the event of default, taking into account, among other attributes, the mitigating effect of collateral value at the time it is expected to be realised and the time value of money.

HSBC leverages the Basel II IRB framework where possible, with recalibration to meet the differing IFRS 9 requirements as set out in the following table:


Through the cycle (represents long-run average PD throughout a full economic cycle)

Point in time (based on current conditions, adjusted to take into account estimates of future conditions that will impact PD)

PD

The definition of default includes a backstop of 90+ days past due, although this has been modified to 180+ days past due for some portfolios, particularly UK and US mortgages

Default backstop of 90+ days past due for all portfolios

EAD

Cannot be lower than current balance

Amortisation captured for term products


Downturn LGD (consistent losses expected to be suffered during a severe but plausible economic downturn)

Expected LGD (based on estimate of loss given default including the expected impact of future economic conditions such as changes in value of


Regulatory floors may apply to mitigate risk of underestimating downturn


collateral)

LGD


LGD due to lack of historical data

No floors


Discounted using cost of capital

Discounted using the original effective interest rate of the loan


All collection costs included

Only costs associated with obtaining/selling collateral included

Other



Discounted back from point of default to balance sheet date

 

While 12-month PDs are recalibrated from Basel II models where possible, the lifetime PDs are determined by projecting the 12-month PD using a term structure. For the wholesale methodology, the lifetime PD also takes into account credit migration, i.e. a customer migrating through the CRR bands over its life.

The ECL for wholesale stage 3 is determined on an individual basis using a discounted cash flow ('DCF') methodology. The expected future cash flows are based on the credit risk officer's estimates as at the reporting date, reflecting reasonable and supportable assumptions and projections of future recoveries and expected future receipts of interest. Collateral is taken into account if it is likely that the recovery of the outstanding amount will include realisation of collateral based on the estimated fair value of collateral at the time of expected realisation, less costs for obtaining and selling the collateral. The cash flows are discounted at a reasonable approximation of the original effective interest rate. For significant cases, cash flows under four different scenarios are probability-weighted by reference to the three economic scenarios applied more generally by the Group and the judgement of the credit risk officer in relation to the likelihood of the workout strategy succeeding or receivership being required. For less significant cases, the effect of different economic scenarios and work-out strategies is approximated and applied as an adjustment to the most likely outcome.

Period over which ECL is measured

Expected credit loss is measured from the initial recognition of the financial asset. The maximum period considered when measuring ECL (be it 12-month or lifetime ECL) is the maximum contractual period over which HSBC is exposed to credit risk. For wholesale overdrafts, credit risk management actions are taken no less frequently than on an annual basis and therefore this period is to the expected date of the next substantive credit review. The date of the substantive credit review also represents the initial recognition of the new facility. However, where the financial instrument includes both a drawn and undrawn commitment and the contractual ability to demand repayment and cancel the undrawn commitment does not serve to limit HSBC's exposure to credit risk to the contractual notice period, the contractual period does not determine the maximum period considered. Instead, ECL is measured over the period HSBC remains exposed to credit risk that is not mitigated by credit risk management actions. This applies to retail overdrafts and credit cards, where the period is the average time taken for stage 2 exposures to default or close as performing accounts, determined on a portfolio basis and ranging from between two and six years. In addition, for these facilities it is not possible to identify the ECL on the loan commitment component separately from the financial asset component. As a result, the total ECL is recognised in the loss allowance for the financial asset unless the total ECL exceeds the gross carrying amount of the financial asset, in which case the ECL is recognised as a provision.

Forward-looking economic inputs

HSBC will in general apply three forward-looking global economic scenarios determined with reference to external forecast distributions representative of our view of forecast economic conditions, the consensus economic scenario approach. This approach is considered sufficient to calculate unbiased expected loss in most economic environments. They represent a most likely outcome (the Central scenario) and two, less likely, outer scenarios referred to as the Upside and Downside scenarios. The Central scenario is the basis for the annual operating planning process and, with regulatory modifications, will also be used in enterprise-wide stress tests. The Upside and Downside scenarios are constructed following a standard process supported by a scenario narrative reflecting the Group's current top and emerging risks and by consulting external and internal subject matter experts. The relationship between the outer scenarios and Central scenario will generally be fixed with the Central scenario being assigned a weighting of 80% and the Upside and Downside scenarios 10% each, with the difference between the Central and outer scenarios in terms of economic severity being informed by the spread of external forecast distributions among professional industry forecasts. The outer scenarios are economically plausible, internally consistent states of the world and will not necessarily be as severe as scenarios used in stress testing. The period of forecasts is five years for the Central scenario. Upside and Downside scenarios use distributional forecasts for the first two years, after which they converge to the Central forecasts. The spread between the Central and outer scenarios is grounded on consensus distributions of projected gross domestic product of the following economies: UK, France, Hong Kong, mainland China, US and Canada. The economic factors include, but are not limited to, gross domestic product, unemployment, interest rates, inflation and commercial property prices across all the countries and territories in which HSBC operates.

In general, the consequences of the assessment of credit risk and the resulting ECL outputs will be probability-weighted using the standard probability weights. This probability weighting may be applied directly or the effect of the probability weighting determined on a periodic basis, at least annually, and then applied as an adjustment to the outcomes resulting from the central economic forecast. The central economic forecast is updated quarterly.

HSBC recognises that the consensus economic scenario approach using three scenarios will be insufficient in certain economic environments. Additional analysis may be requested at management's discretion, including the production of extra scenarios. If conditions warrant, this could result in alternative scenarios and probability weightings being applied in arriving at the ECL.

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Notes on the financial statements

Critical accounting estimates and judgements

In determining ECL, management is required to exercise judgement in defining what is considered to be a significant increase in credit risk and in making assumptions and estimates to incorporate relevant information about past events, current conditions and forecasts of economic conditions. Judgement has been applied in determining the lifetime and point of initial recognition of revolving facilities.

The PD, LGD and EAD models, which support these determinations are reviewed regularly in light of differences between loss estimates and actual loss experience, but given that IFRS 9 requirements have only just been applied, there has been little time available to make these comparisons. Therefore, the underlying models and their calibration, including how they react to forward-looking economic conditions, remain subject to review and refinement. This is particularly relevant for lifetime PDs, which have not been previously used in regulatory modelling, and for the incorporation of 'Upside scenarios', that have not generally been subject to experience gained through stress testing.

The exercise of judgement in making estimations requires the use of assumptions that are highly subjective and very sensitive to the risk factors, in particular to changes in economic and credit conditions across a large number of geographical areas. Many of the factors have a high degree of interdependency and there is no single factor to which loan impairment allowances as a whole are sensitive. The sections marked as audited on pages 94 to 101, 'Measurement uncertainty and sensitivity analysis of ECL estimates,' set out the assumptions underlying the Central scenario and information about how scenarios are developed in relation to the Group's top and emerging risks and its judgements, informed by consensus forecasts of professional industry forecasters. The sensitivity of ECL to different economic scenarios is illustrated by recalculating the ECL for selected portfolios as if 100% weighting had been assigned to each scenario.

 

(j)      Insurance contracts

A contract is classified as an insurance contract where HSBC accepts significant insurance risk from another party by agreeing to compensate that party on the occurrence of a specified uncertain future event. An insurance contract may also transfer financial risk, but is accounted for as an insurance contract if the insurance risk is significant. In addition, HSBC issues investment contracts with discretionary participation features ('DPF '), which are also accounted for as insurance contracts as required by IFRS 4 'Insurance Contracts'.

Net insurance premium income

Premiums for life insurance contracts are accounted for when receivable, except in unit-linked insurance contracts where premiums are accounted for when liabilities are established.

Reinsurance premiums are accounted for in the same accounting period as the premiums for the direct insurance contracts to which they relate. Net insurance claims and benefits paid and movements in liabilities to policyholders

Gross insurance claims for life insurance contracts reflect the total cost of claims arising during the year, including claim handling costs and any policyholder bonuses allocated in anticipation of a bonus declaration.

Maturity claims are recognised when due for payment. Surrenders are recognised when paid or at an earlier date on which, following notification, the policy ceases to be included within the calculation of the related insurance liabilities. Death claims are recognised when notified.

Reinsurance recoveries are accounted for in the same period as the related claim.
Liabilities under insurance contracts

Liabilities under non-linked life insurance contracts are calculated by each life insurance operation based on local actuarial principles. Liabilities under unit-linked life insurance contracts are at least equivalent to the surrender or transfer value, which is calculated by reference to the value of the relevant underlying funds or indices.

Future profit participation on insurance contracts with DPF

Where contracts provide discretionary profit participation benefits to policyholders, liabilities for these contracts include provisions for the future discretionary benefits to policyholders. These provisions reflect the actual performance of the investment portfolio to date and management's expectation of the future performance of the assets backing the contracts, as well as other experience factors such as mortality, lapses and operational efficiency, where appropriate. The benefits to policyholders may be determined by the contractual terms, regulation, or past distribution policy.

Investment contracts with DPF

While investment contracts with DPF are financial instruments, they continue to be treated as insurance contracts as required by IFRS 4. The Group therefore recognises the premiums for these contracts as revenue and recognises as an expense the resulting increase in the carrying amount of the liability.

In the case of net unrealised investment gains on these contracts, whose discretionary benefits principally reflect the actual performance of the investment portfolio, the corresponding increase in the liabilities is recognised in either the income statement or other comprehensive income, following the treatment of the unrealised gains on the relevant assets. In the case of net unrealised losses, a deferred participating asset is recognised only to the extent that its recoverability is highly probable. Movements in the liabilities arising from realised gains and losses on relevant assets are recognised in the income statement.

Present value of in-force long-term insurance business

HSBC recognises the value placed on insurance contracts and investment contracts with DPF, which are classified as long-term and in-force at the balance sheet date, as an asset. The asset represents the present value of the equity holders' interest in the issuing insurance companies' profits expected to emerge from these contracts written at the balance sheet date. The present value of in-force business ('PVIF') is determined by discounting those expected future profits using appropriate assumptions in assessing factors such as future mortality, lapse rates and levels of expenses, and a risk discount rate that reflects the risk premium attributable to the respective contracts. The PVIF incorporates allowances for both non-market risk and the value of financial options and guarantees. The PVIF asset is presented gross of attributable tax in the balance sheet and movements in the PVIF asset are included in 'Other operating income' on a gross of tax basis.

(k)     Employee compensation and benefits
Share-based payments

HSBC enters into both equity-settled and cash-settled share-based payment arrangements with its employees as compensation for the provision of their services.

The vesting period for these schemes may commence before the legal grant date if the employees have started to render services in respect of the award before the legal grant date, where there is a shared understanding of the terms and conditions of the arrangement. Expenses are recognised when the employee starts to render service to which the award relates.

Cancellations result from the failure to meet a non-vesting condition during the vesting period, and are treated as an acceleration of vesting recognised immediately in the income statement. Failure to meet a vesting condition by the employee is not treated as a cancellation, and the amount of expense recognised for the award is adjusted to reflect the number of awards expected to vest.

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Post-employment benefit plans

HSBC operates a number of pension schemes including defined benefit, defined contribution and post-employment benefit schemes.

Payments to defined contribution schemes are charged as an expense as the employees render service.

Defined benefit pension obligations are calculated using the projected unit credit method. The net charge to the income statement mainly comprises the service cost and the net interest on the net defined benefit asset or liability, and is presented in operating expenses.

Remeasurements of the net defined benefit asset or liability, which comprise actuarial gains and losses, return on plan assets excluding interest and the effect of the asset ceiling (if any, excluding interest), are recognised immediately in other comprehensive income. The net defined benefit asset or liability

represents the present value of defined benefit obligations reduced by the fair value of plan assets, after applying the asset ceiling test, where the net defined benefit surplus is limited to the present value of available refunds and reductions in future contributions to the plan.

The cost of obligations arising from other post-employment plans are accounted for on the same basis as defined benefit pension plans.

(l)   Tax

Income tax comprises current tax and deferred tax. Income tax is recognised in the income statement except to the extent that it relates to items recognised in other comprehensive income or directly in equity, in which case the tax is recognised in the same statement as the related item appears.

Current tax is the tax expected to be payable on the taxable profit for the year and on any adjustment to tax payable in respect of previous years. HSBC provides for potential current tax liabilities that may arise on the basis of the amounts expected to be paid to the tax authorities.

Deferred tax is recognised on temporary differences between the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities in the balance sheet, and the amounts attributed to such assets and liabilities for tax purposes. Deferred tax is calculated using the tax rates expected to apply in the periods in which the assets will be realised or the liabilities settled.

Current and deferred tax are calculated based on tax rates and laws enacted, or substantively enacted, by the balance sheet date. Critical accounting estimates and judgements

The recognition of a deferred tax asset relies on an assessment of the probability and sufficiency of future taxable profits, future reversals of existing taxable temporary differences and ongoing tax planning strategies. In the absence of a history of taxable profits, the most significant judgements relate to expected future profitability and to the applicability of tax planning strategies, including corporate reorganisations.

(m)   Provisions, contingent liabilities and guarantees
Provisions

Provisions are recognised when it is probable that an outflow of economic benefits will be required to settle a present legal or constructive obligation that has arisen as a result of past events and for which a reliable estimate can be made.

Critical accounting estimates and judgements

Judgement is involved in determining whether a present obligation exists and in estimating the probability, timing and amount of any outflows. Professional expert advice is taken on the assessment of litigation, property (including onerous contracts) and similar obligations. Provisions for legal proceedings and regulatory matters typically require a higher degree of judgement than other types of provisions. When matters are at an early stage, accounting judgements can be difficult because of the high degree of uncertainty associated with determining whether a present obligation exists, and estimating the probability and amount of any outflows that may arise. As matters progress, management and legal advisers evaluate on an ongoing basis whether provisions should be recognised, revising previous judgements and estimates as appropriate. At more advanced stages, it is typically easier to make judgements and estimates around a better defined set of possible outcomes. However, the amount provisioned can remain very sensitive to the assumptions used. There could be a wide range of possible outcomes for any pending legal proceedings, investigations or inquiries. As a result, it is often not practicable to quantify a range of possible outcomes for individual matters. It is also not practicable to meaningfully quantify ranges of potential outcomes in aggregate for these types of provisions because of the diverse nature and circumstances of such matters and the wide range of uncertainties involved. Provisions for customer remediation also require significant levels of estimation and judgement. The amounts of provisions recognised depend on a number of different assumptions, such as the volume of inbound complaints, the projected period of inbound complaint volumes, the decay rate of complaint volumes, the population identified as systemically mis-sold and the number of policies per customer complaint.

Contingent liabilities, contractual commitments and guarantees
Contingent liabilities

Contingent liabilities, which include certain guarantees and letters of credit pledged as collateral security, and contingent liabilities related to legal proceedings or regulatory matters, are not recognised in the financial statements but are disclosed unless the probability of settlement is remote.

Financial guarantee contracts

Liabilities under financial guarantee contracts that are not classified as insurance contracts are recorded initially at their fair value, which is generally the fee received or present value of the fee receivable.

HSBC Holdings has issued financial guarantees and similar contracts to other Group entities. HSBC elects to account for certain guarantees as insurance contracts in HSBC Holdings' financial statements, in which case they are measured and recognised as insurance liabilities. This election is made on a contract-by-contract basis, and is irrevocable.

( )         Accounting policies applied to financial instruments prior to 1 January 2018
Financial instruments measured at amortised cost

Loans and advances to banks and customers, held-to-maturity investments and most financial liabilities are measured at amortised cost. The carrying value of these financial assets at initial recognition includes any directly attributable transactions costs. If the initial fair value is lower than the cash amount advanced, such as in the case of some leveraged finance and syndicated lending activities, the difference is deferred and recognised over the life of the loan (as described in sub-section (c) above) through the recognition of interest income, unless the loan becomes impaired.

HSBC may commit to underwriting loans on fixed contractual terms for specified periods of time. When the loan arising from the lending commitment is expected to be held for trading, the commitment to lend is recorded as a derivative. When HSBC intends to hold the loan, a provision on the loan commitment is only recorded where it is probable that HSBC will incur a loss.

Impairment of loans and advances

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Notes on the financial statements

Losses for impaired loans are recognised when there is objective evidence that impairment of a loan or portfolio of loans has occurred. Losses that may arise from future events are not recognised.

Individually assessed loans and advances

The factors considered in determining whether a loan is individually significant for the purposes of assessing impairment include the size of the loan, the number of loans in the portfolio, the importance of the individual loan relationship and how this is managed. Loans that are determined to be individually significant will be individually assessed for impairment, except when volumes of defaults and losses are sufficient to justify treatment under a collective methodology.

Loans considered as individually significant are typically to corporate and commercial customers, are for larger amounts and are managed on an individual basis. For these loans, HSBC considers on a case-by-case basis at each balance sheet date whether there is any objective evidence that a loan is impaired.

The determination of the realisable value of security is based on the most recently updated market value at the time the impairment assessment is performed. The value is not adjusted for expected future changes in market prices, although adjustments are made to reflect local conditions such as forced sale discounts.

Impairment losses are calculated by discounting the expected future cash flows of a loan, which include expected future receipts of contractual interest, at the loan's original effective interest rate or an approximation thereof, and comparing the resultant present value with the loan's current carrying amount.

Collectively assessed loans and advances

Impairment is assessed collectively to cover losses that have been incurred but have not yet been identified on loans subject to individual assessment or for homogeneous groups of loans that are not considered individually significant, which are generally retail lending portfolios.

Incurred but not yet identified impairment

Individually assessed loans for which no evidence of impairment has been specifically identified on an individual basis are grouped together according to their credit risk characteristics for a collective impairment assessment. This assessment captures impairment losses that HSBC has incurred as a result of events occurring before the balance sheet date that HSBC is not able to identify on an individual loan basis, and that can be reliably estimated. When information becomes available that identifies losses on individual loans within a group, those loans are removed from the group and assessed individually.

Homogeneous groups of loans and advances

Statistical methods are used to determine collective impairment losses for homogeneous groups of loans not considered individually significant. The methods used to calculate collective allowances are set out below:

· When appropriate empirical information is available, HSBC utilises roll-rate methodology, which employs statistical analyses of historical data and experience of delinquency and default to reliably estimate the amount of the loans that will eventually be written off as a result of events occurring before the balance sheet date. Individual loans are grouped using ranges of past due days, and statistical estimates are made of the likelihood that loans in each range will progress through the various stages of delinquency and become irrecoverable. Additionally, individual loans are segmented based on their credit characteristics, such as industry sector, loan grade or product. In applying this methodology, adjustments are made to estimate the periods of time between a loss event occurring, for example because of a missed payment, and its confirmation through write-off (known as the loss identification period). Current economic conditions are also evaluated when calculating the appropriate level of allowance required to cover inherent loss. In certain highly developed markets, models also take into account behavioural and account management trends as revealed in, for example bankruptcy and rescheduling statistics.

· When the portfolio size is small or when information is insufficient or not reliable enough to adopt a roll-rate methodology, HSBC adopts a basic formulaic approach based on historical loss rate experience, or a discounted cash flow model. Where a basic formulaic approach is undertaken, the period between a loss event occurring and its identification is estimated by local management, and is typically between six and 12 months.

Write-off of loans and advances

Loans and the related impairment allowance accounts are normally written off, either partially or in full, when there is no realistic prospect of recovery. Where loans are secured, this is generally after receipt of any proceeds from the realisation of security. In circumstances where the net realisable value of any collateral has been determined and there is no reasonable expectation of further recovery, write-off may be earlier.

Reversals of impairment

If the amount of an impairment loss decreases in a subsequent period, and the decrease can be related objectively to an event occurring after the impairment was recognised, the excess is written back by reducing the loan impairment allowance account accordingly. The write-back is recognised in the income statement.

Assets acquired in exchange for loans

When non-financial assets acquired in exchange for loans as part of an orderly realisation are held for sale, these assets are recorded as 'Assets held for sale'.

Renegotiated loans

Loans subject to collective impairment assessment whose terms have been renegotiated are no longer considered past due, but are treated as up-to-date loans for measurement purposes once a minimum number of required payments has been received. Where collectively assessed loan portfolios include significant levels of renegotiated loans, these loans are segregated from other parts of the loan portfolio for the purposes of collective impairment assessment to reflect their risk profile. Loans subject to individual impairment assessment, whose terms have been renegotiated, are subject to ongoing review to determine whether they remain impaired. The carrying amounts of loans that have been classified as renegotiated retain this classification until maturity or derecognition.

A loan that is renegotiated is derecognised if the existing agreement is cancelled and a new agreement made on substantially different terms or if the terms of an existing agreement are modified such that the renegotiated loan is substantially a different financial instrument. Any new loans that arise following derecognition events will continue to be disclosed as renegotiated loans and are assessed for impairment as above.

Non-trading reverse repurchase, repurchase and similar agreements

When debt securities are sold subject to a commitment to repurchase them at a predetermined price ('repos'), they remain on the balance sheet and a liability is recorded in respect of the consideration received. Securities purchased under commitments to resell ('reverse repos') are not recognised on the balance sheet and an asset is recorded in respect of the initial consideration paid. Non-trading repos and reverse repos are measured at amortised cost. The difference between the sale and repurchase price, or between the purchase and resale price is treated as interest and recognised in net interest income over the life of the agreement.

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Contracts that are economically equivalent to reverse repurchase or repurchase agreements (such as sales or purchases of debt securities entered into together with total return swaps with the same counterparty) are accounted for similarly to, and presented together with, reverse repurchase or repurchase agreements.

Financial instruments measured at fair value
Available-for-sale financial assets

Available-for-sale financial assets are recognised on the trade date when HSBC enters into contractual arrangements to purchase them, and are normally derecognised when they are either sold or redeemed. They are subsequently remeasured at fair value, and changes therein are recognised in other comprehensive income until the assets are either sold or become impaired. Upon disposal, the cumulative gains or losses in other comprehensive income are recognised in the income statement as 'Gains less losses from financial investments'.

Impairment of available-for-sale financial assets

Available-for-sale financial assets are assessed at each balance sheet date for objective evidence of impairment. Impairment losses are recognised in the income statement within 'Loan impairment charges and other credit risk provisions' for debt instruments and within 'Gains less losses from financial investments' for equities.

Available-for-sale debt securities

In assessing objective evidence of impairment at the reporting date, HSBC considers all available evidence, including observable data or information about events specifically relating to the securities which may result in a shortfall in the recovery of future cash flows. A subsequent decline in the fair value of the instrument is recognised in the income statement when there is objective evidence of impairment as a result of decreases in the estimated future cash flows. Where there is no further objective evidence of impairment, the decline in the fair value of the financial asset is recognised in other comprehensive income. If the fair value of a debt security increases in a subsequent period, and the increase can be objectively related to an event occurring after the impairment loss was recognised in the income statement, or the instrument is no longer impaired, the impairment loss is reversed through the income statement.


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Notes on the financial statements


Available-for-sale equity securities

A significant or prolonged decline in the fair value of the equity below its cost is objective evidence of impairment. In assessing whether it is significant, the decline in fair value is evaluated against the original cost of the asset at initial recognition. In assessing whether it is prolonged, the decline is evaluated against the continuous period in which the fair value of the asset has been below its original cost at initial recognition.

All subsequent increases in the fair value of the instrument are treated as a revaluation and are recognised in other comprehensive income. Subsequent decreases in the fair value of the available-for-sale equity security are recognised in the income statement to the extent that further cumulative impairment losses have been incurred. Impairment losses recognised on the equity security are not reversed through the income statement.

Financial instruments designated at fair value

Financial instruments, other than those held for trading, are classified in this category if they meet one or more of the criteria set out below, and are so designated irrevocably at inception:

·   the use of the designation removes or significantly reduces an accounting mismatch;

·   when a group of financial assets, liabilities or both is managed and its performance is evaluated on a fair value basis, in accordance with a documented risk management or investment strategy; and

·   where financial instruments contain one or more non-closely related embedded derivatives.

Designated financial assets are recognised when HSBC enters into contracts with counterparties, which is generally on trade date, and are normally derecognised when the rights to the cash flows expire or are transferred. Designated financial liabilities are recognised when HSBC enters into contracts with counterparties, which is generally on settlement date, and are normally derecognised when extinguished. Subsequent changes in fair values are recognised in the income statement in 'Net income/(expense) from financial instruments designated at fair value'. Under this criterion, the main classes of financial instruments designated by HSBC are:

Long-term debt issues

The interest and/or foreign exchange exposure on certain fixed rate debt securities issued has been matched with the interest and/or foreign exchange exposure on certain swaps as part of a documented risk management strategy.

Financial assets and financial liabilities under unit-linked and non-linked investment contracts

A contract under which HSBC does not accept significant insurance risk from another party is not classified as an insurance contract, other than investment contracts with discretionary participation features ('DPF'), but is accounted for as a financial liability. See Note 1.2(j) for investment contracts with DPF and contracts where HSBC accepts significant insurance risk. Customer liabilities under linked and certain non-linked investment contracts issued by insurance subsidiaries and the corresponding financial assets are designated at fair value. Liabilities are at least equivalent to the surrender or transfer value, which is calculated by reference to the value of the relevant underlying funds or indices. Premiums receivable and amounts withdrawn are accounted for as increases or decreases in the liability recorded in respect of investment contracts. The incremental costs directly related to the acquisition of new investment contracts or renewing existing investment contracts are deferred and amortised over the period during which the investment management services are provided.

2      Net fee income

Net fee income by global business


2017                       2016

Total                         Total

$m                               $m


 


Net Fee income includes $7,522m of fees earned on financial assets that are not at fair value through profit or loss (other than amounts included in determining the effective interest rate) (2017: $7,577m; 2016: $7,732m), $1,682m of fees payable on financial liabilities that are not at fair value through profit of loss (other than amounts included in determining the effective interest rate) (2017: $1,475m; 2016: $1,214m), $3,165m of fees earned on trust and other fiduciary activities (2017: $3,088m; 2016: $2,926m), and $175m of fees payable relating to trust and other fiduciary activities (2017: $134m; 2016: $129m). Comparatives for fees earned on trust and other fiduciary activities have been restated to align with current year treatment.

237          HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018


 


Notes on the financial statements


 


1     Discretionary participation features.

2     'Exchange differences and other movements' includes movements in liabilities arising from net unrealised investment gains recognised in other comprehensive income.

The key factors contributing to the movement in liabilities to policyholders included movements in the market value of assets supporting policyholder

liabilities, death claims, surrenders, lapses, liabilities to policyholders created at the initial inception of the policies, the declaration of bonuses and other amounts attributable to policyholders.


239          HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018


5         Operating profit

Operating profit is stated after the following items:

External net operating income is attributed to countries and territories on the basis of the location of the branch responsible for reporting the results or advancing the funds:

 

Footnotes

2018 $m

2017 $m

External net operating income by country/territory                                                                                                                                               2                          53,780

51,445

- UK

10,340 17,162 4,379 1,898 20,001

11,057 14,992 4,573 2,203 18,620

- Hong Kong

- US

- France

- other countries

 


1     Interest revenue calculated using the effective interest method comprises interest recognised on financial assets measured at either amortised cost or fair value through other comprehensive income.

2     Net operating income before change in expected credit losses and other credit impairment charges/Loan impairment charges and other credit risk provisions, also referred to as revenue.

6      Employee compensation and benefits

  2018                     2017                       2016

  $m                        $m                          $m

Wages and salaries

Social security costs

Post-employment benefits

Year ended 31 Dec

HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018  240


Notes on the financial statements

Average number of persons employed by HSBC during the year by global business


 

2017

2016

134,021

137,234

46,716

45,912

49,100

47,623

7,817

8,322

7,134

7,842

244,788

246,933





2017

2016

70,301

71,196

125,004

122,282

10,408

12,021

18,610

20,353

20,465

21,081

244,788

246,933

 


 


Year in which income statement is expected to reflect deferred bonuses

Charge recognised                                                                Expected charge

Share-based payments

 

'Wages and salaries' includes the effect of share-based payments arrangements, of which $450m were equity follows:

settled (2017: $500m; 2016: $534m), as


2018

2017


$m

$m

Restricted share awards

499

520

Savings-related and other share award option plans

23

26

Year ended 31 Dec

522

546

 

HSBC share awards

Deferred share awards (including annual incentive awards, LTI awards delivered in shares) and Group Performance Share Plans ('GPSP')

·   An assessment of performance over the relevant period ending on 31 December is used to determine the amount of the award to be granted.

·        Deferred awards generally require employees to remain in employment over the vesting period and are not subject to performance conditions after the grant date.

·        Deferred share awards generally vest over a period of three, five or seven years.

·        Vested shares may be subject to a retention requirement post-vesting. GPSP awards are retained until cessation of employment.

·        Awards granted from 2010 onwards are subject to a malus provision prior to vesting.

·        Awards granted to Material Risk Takers from 2015 onwards are subject to clawback post-vesting.

 

International Employee Share Purchase Plan ('ShareMatch')

·     The plan was first introduced in Hong Kong in 2013 and now includes employees based in 27 jurisdictions.

·     Shares are purchased in the market each quarter up to a maximum value of £750, or the equivalent in local currency.

·     Matching awards are added at a ratio of one free share for every three purchased.

·     Matching awards vest subject to continued employment and the retention of the purchased shares for a maximum period of two years and nine months.

 

241          HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018


Movement on HSBC share awards

Restricted share awards outstanding at 1 Jan

Additions during the year

Released in the year

Forfeited in the year

Restricted share awards outstanding at 31 Dec

Weighted average fair value of awards granted ($)


HSBC share option plans

Savings-related share option plans

·     Two plans: the UK Plan and the International Plan. The last grant of options under the International Plan was in 2012. ('Sharesave')

·               From 2014, eligible employees could save up to £500 per month with the option to use the savings to acquire shares.

·               Exercisable within six months following either the third or fifth anniversary of the commencement of a three-year or five-year contract, respectively.

·               The exercise price is set at a 20% (2017: 20%) discount to the market value immediately preceding the date of invitation.

 

Calculation of fair values

The fair values of share options are calculated using a Black-Scholes model. The fair value of a share award is based on the share price at the date of the grant.

Movement on HSBC share option plans

Savings-related
share option plans

Post-employment benefit plans

The Group operates pension plans throughout the world for its employees. 'Pension risk management' on page 87 contains details of the policies and practices associated with these pension plans. Some are defined benefit plans, of which the largest is the HSBC Bank (UK) Pension Scheme ('the principal plan').

HSBC's balance sheet includes the net surplus or deficit, being the difference between the fair value of plan assets and the discounted value of scheme liabilities at the balance sheet date for each plan. Surpluses are only recognised to the extent that they are recoverable through reduced contributions in the future or through potential future refunds from the schemes. In assessing whether a surplus is recoverable, HSBC has considered its current right to obtain a future refund or a reduction in future contributions.

The principal plan

The principal plan has a defined benefit section and a defined contribution section. The defined benefit section was closed to future benefit accrual in 2015, with defined benefits earned by employees at that date continuing to be linked to their salary while they remain employed by HSBC. The plan is overseen by an independent corporate trustee, who has a fiduciary responsibility for the operation of the plan. Its assets are held separately from the assets of the Group.

The investment strategy of the plan is to hold the majority of assets in bonds, with the remainder in a diverse range of investments. It also includes some interest rate swaps to reduce interest rate risk and inflation swaps to reduce inflation risk.

The latest funding valuation of the plan at 31 December 2016 was carried out by Colin G Singer, of Willis Towers Watson Limited, who is a Fellow of the UK Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, using the projected unit credit method. At that date, the market value of the plan's combined assets was £30.2bn ($37.2bn), and this exceeded the value placed on its liabilities on an ongoing basis by £1.3bn ($1.6bn), giving a funding level of 104%. These figures include all sections of the plan and defined contribution assets amounting to £3.1bn ($3.8bn). The main differences between the assumptions used for assessing the defined benefit liabilities for this funding valuation and those used for IAS 19 are more prudent assumptions for discount rate, inflation rate and life expectancy.

HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018  242


Notes on the financial statements

Although the plan was in surplus at the valuation date, HSBC continues to make further contributions to the plan to support a lower-risk investment strategy over the longer term. The remaining contributions are £64m ($82m) in 2019, and £160m ($204m) in each of 2020 and 2021.

To meet the requirements of the Banking Reform Act, the main employer of the plan changed from HSBC Bank plc to HSBC UK Bank plc with effect from 1 July 2018, with additional support from HSBC Holdings plc. At the same time, non-ring-fenced entities including HSBC Bank plc exited the section of the plan for ring-fenced entities and joined a newly created section for the future defined benefit and defined contribution pension benefits of their employees. These changes have not materially affected the overall funding position of

the plan.

The actuary also assessed the value of the liabilities if the plan were to be stopped and an insurance company asked to secure all future pension payments. This is generally larger than the amount needed on the ongoing basis described above because an insurance company would use more prudent assumptions and include an explicit allowance for the future administrative expenses of the plan. Under this approach, the amount of assets needed was estimated to be £38bn ($47bn) at 31 December 2016.

Guaranteed minimum pension ('GMP') equalisation

On 26 October 2018, the High Court of Justice of England and Wales issued a judgment in a claim between Lloyds Banking Group Pension Trustees Limited as claimant and Lloyds Bank plc and others as defendants regarding the rights of men and women to equal treatment in relation to their benefits from certain pension schemes.

The judgment concluded that the claimant is under a duty to amend the schemes in order to equalise benefits for men and women in relation to GMP benefits. The judgment also provided comments on the method to be adopted in order to equalise benefits, on the period during which a member can claim in respect of previously underpaid benefits, and on what should be done in relation to benefits that have been transferred into, and out of, the relevant schemes.

The issues determined by the judgment arise in relation to many other occupational pension schemes and consequently will result in an increase in the principal plan's liabilities. We have estimated the financial effect of equalising benefits in respect of GMPs, and any potential conversion of GMPs into non-GMP benefits, to be an approximate 0.8% increase in the plan's liabilities, or £177m ($226m) on the IAS19 basis as at 31 December 2018. This has been recognised as a past service cost in profit and loss. The estimate was performed based on Method C2, which compares the accumulated benefits, with interest, payable to a member on their 'own sex' and an 'opposite sex' basis and each year pays the amount necessary to ensure the higher of the two accumulated amounts has been paid.

HSBC Holdings

Employee compensation and benefit expense in respect of HSBC Holdings' employees in 2018 amounted to $37m (2017: $54m). The average number of persons employed during 2018 was 43 (2017: 55). Employees who are members of defined benefit pension plans are principally members of either the HSBC Bank (UK) Pension Scheme or the HSBC International Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme. HSBC Holdings pays contributions to such plans for its own employees in accordance with the schedules of contributions determined by the trustees of the plans and recognises these contributions as an expense as they fall due.

From 1 July 2016 employment costs of most employees are recognised by the ServCo group and the ServCo group started providing services to HSBC Holdings. HSBC Holdings recognised a management charge of $2,428m (2017: $2,240m) for these services, which is included under 'General and administrative expenses'.

243          HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018


 


Notes on the financial statements

Directors' emoluments

Details of Directors' emoluments, pensions and their interests are disclosed in the Directors' remuneration report on page 172.

245          HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018


7         Auditors' remuneration


Footnotes

Audit fees payable to PwC                                                                                                                                                                       1

Other audit fees payable

Year ended 31 Dec

Fees payable by HSBC to PwC6 

Footnotes

Fees for HSBC Holdings' statutory audit                                                                                                                                                 2

Fees for other services provided to HSBC


 


Year ended 31 Dec

119.5

129.7                                                 111.1




No fees were payable by HSBC to PwC as principal auditor for the following types of services: internal audit services and services related to litigation, recruitment and remuneration.

Fees payable by HSBC's associated pension schemes to PwC

 


2018

2017


$000

$000

Audit of HSBC's associated pension schemes

172

260

Audit-related assurance services

-

4

Year ended 31 Dec

172

264

 

1     The 2016 audit fees payable amount includes $4.2m related to the prior year audit in respect of overruns.

2     Fees payable to PwC for the statutory audit of the consolidated financial statements of HSBC and the separate financial statements of HSBC Holdings. They include amounts payable for services relating to the consolidation returns of HSBC Holdings' subsidiaries, which are clearly identifiable as being in support of the Group audit opinion.

3     Fees payable for the statutory audit of the financial statements of HSBC's subsidiaries, including the 2017 and 2016 changes in scope and additional procedures performed due to the technology systems and data access controls matter as described on page 207.

4     Including services for assurance and other services that relate to statutory and regulatory filings, including comfort letters and interim reviews and work performed related to the implementation of IFRS 9.

5     Including other permitted services relating to advisory, corporate finance transactions, etc.

6     The 2017 and 2016 comparative data has been re-presented to align to the current year presentation of fees payable. The totals remain unchanged for both 2017 and 2016.

No fees were payable by HSBC's associated pension schemes to PwC as principal auditor for the following types of services: internal audit services, other assurance services, services related to corporate finance transactions, valuation and actuarial services, litigation, recruitment and remuneration, and information technology.

In addition to the above, the estimated fees paid to PwC by third parties associated with HSBC amount to $14.0m (2017: $3.5m; 2016: $4.3m). In these cases, HSBC is connected with the contracting party and may therefore be involved in appointing PwC. These fees arise from services such as auditing mutual funds managed by HSBC and reviewing the financial position of corporate concerns that borrow from HSBC.

Fees payable for non-audit services for HSBC Holdings are not disclosed separately because such fees are disclosed on a consolidated basis for the HSBC Group.

8      Tax

Tax expense

Footnotes

2018 $m

                          2017                               2016

                             $m                                  $m

Current tax                                                                                                                                                                                                      1

4,195

4,264                                                  3,669

- for this year

4,158

37

4,115

149

3,525

144

- adjustments in respect of prior years

Deferred tax

670

1,024                                                        (3)

- origination and reversal of temporary differences

656

17

(3)

(228)

1,337

(85)

(111)

(4)

112

- effect of changes in tax rates

- adjustments in respect of prior years

Year ended 31 Dec

4,865

5,288                                                  3,666

 

1     Current tax included Hong Kong profits tax of $1,532m (2017: $1,350m; 2016: $1,118m). The Hong Kong tax rate applying to the profits of subsidiaries assessable in Hong Kong was 16.5% (2017: 16.5%; 2016: 16.5%).

HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018  246


Notes on the financial statements

Tax reconciliation

The tax charged to the income statement differs from the tax charge that would apply if all profits had been taxed at the UK corporation tax rate as follows:


 


The Group's profits are taxed at different rates depending on the country or territory in which the profits arise. The key applicable tax rates for 2018 include Hong Kong (16.5%), the US (21%) and the UK (19%). If the Group's profits were taxed at the statutory rates of the countries in which the profits arose, then the tax rate for the year would have been 20.30% (2017: 21.15%). The effective tax rate for the year was 24.5% (2017: 30.8%). The effective tax rate for 2018 was significantly lower than for 2017 as 2017 included a charge of $1.3bn relating to the remeasurement of US deferred tax balances to reflect the reduction in the US federal tax rate to 21% from 2018.

Accounting for taxes involves some estimation because the tax law is uncertain and its application requires a degree of judgement, which authorities may dispute. Liabilities are recognised based on best estimates of the probable outcome, taking into account external advice where appropriate. We do not expect significant liabilities to arise in excess of the amounts provided. HSBC only recognises current and deferred tax assets where recovery is probable.


247          HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018


Movement of deferred tax assets and liabilities

 


950

2,212

1,441

-

893

1,857

7,353


-

-

(274)

(1,170)

-

(1,369)

(2,813)


950

2,212

1,167

(1,170)

893

488

4,540


(235)

(873)

(397)

12

(269)

738

(1,024)


3

(6)

368

-

-

(1,255)

(890)


-

-

-

-

-

29

29


(5)

40

51

(24)

19

(42)

39


713

1,373

1,189

(1,182)

643

(42)

2,694

2

713

1,373

1,282

-

643

2,313

6,324

2

-

-

(93)

(1,182)

-

(2,355)

(3,630)

 

1     Fair value of own debt.

2     After netting off balances within countries, the balances as disclosed in the accounts are as follows: deferred tax assets $4,450m (2017: $4,676m) and deferred tax liabilities $2,619m (2017: $1,982m).

In applying judgement in recognising deferred tax assets, management has critically assessed all available information, including future business profit projections and the track record of meeting forecasts.

The net deferred tax asset of $1.8bn (2017: $2.7bn) includes $3.0bn (2017: $3.2bn) of deferred tax assets relating to the US, of which $1bn relates to US tax losses that expire in 15-19 years. Management expects the US deferred tax asset to be substantially recovered in six to seven years, with the majority recovered in the first five years. The most recent financial forecasts approved by management covers a five-year period and the forecasts have been extrapolated beyond five years by assuming that performance remains constant after the fifth year.

US tax reform enacted in late 2017 and effective from 2018 included a reduction in the federal rate of tax from 35% to 21% and the introduction of a base erosion anti-abuse tax. The US deferred tax asset at 31 December 2017 was calculated using the rate of 21%. The remeasurement of the deferred tax asset due to the reduction in tax rate resulted in charges of $1.3bn to the income statement and $0.3bn to other comprehensive income during 2017. The impact of the base erosion anti-abuse tax is currently uncertain, and will depend on the finalisation of regulatory guidance and the actions management may take. It is not currently expected that the base erosion anti-abuse tax will have a material impact on the Group's future tax charges.

Unrecognised deferred tax

The amount of gross temporary differences, unused tax losses and tax credits for which no deferred tax asset is recognised in the balance sheet was $8.9bn (2017: $18.1bn). These amounts included unused state losses arising in the Group's US operations of $0.8bn (2017: $12.3bn). Of the total amounts unrecognised, $7.0bn (2017: $4.8bn) had no expiry date, $1.3bn (2017: $0.8bn) was scheduled to expire within 10 years and the remaining balance is expected to expire after 10 years.

Deferred tax is not recognised in respect of the Group's investments in subsidiaries and branches where HSBC is able to control the timing of remittance or other realisation and where remittance or realisation is not probable in the foreseeable future. The aggregate temporary differences relating to unrecognised deferred tax liabilities arising on investments in subsidiaries and branches is $13.2bn (2017: $12.1bn) and the corresponding unrecognised deferred tax liability is $0.9bn (2017: $0.8bn).


HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018  248


Notes on the financial statements

9       Dividends

Dividends to shareholders of the parent company


 


2017



2016

Per
share

$

Total

$m

Settled
in scrip

$m

Per
share

$

Total

$m











0.21

4,169

1,945

0.21

4,137






0.10

2,005

826

0.10

1,981

0.10

2,014

193

0.10

1,991

0.10

2,005

242

0.10

1,990

0.51

10,193

3,206

0.51

10,099

62.00

90


62.00

90


1,268



1,090


11,551



11,279

 


Total coupons on capital securities classified as equity

Basic earnings per ordinary share is calculated by dividing the profit attributable to ordinary shareholders of the parent company by the weighted average number of ordinary shares outstanding, excluding own shares held. Diluted earnings per ordinary share is calculated by dividing the basic earnings, which require no adjustment for the effects of dilutive potential ordinary shares, by the weighted average number of ordinary shares outstanding, excluding own shares held, plus the weighted average number of ordinary shares that would be issued on conversion of dilutive potential ordinary shares.

249            HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018


Profit attributable to the ordinary shareholders of the parent company

Basic and diluted earnings per share

1     Weighted average number of ordinary shares outstanding (basic) or assuming dilution (diluted).

The number of anti-dilutive employee share options excluded from the weighted average number of dilutive potential ordinary shares is nil (2017: nil; 2016: 10m).

11   Trading assets

1     Loans and advances to banks and customers include reverse repos, stock borrowing and other accounts.

2     Settlement accounts, cash collateral and margin receivables included within 'Loans and advances to banks' and 'Loans and advances to customers' were reclassified from 'Trading assets' to 'Other assets' on 1 January 2018 and comparative data was not restated. This reclassification was in accordance with IFRS 9.

3     Information regarding the effects of adoption of IFRS 9 can be found in Note 37.

Trading Securities1 

1     Included within these figures are debt securities issued by banks and other financial institutions of $18,918m (2017: $18,585m), of which $2,367m (2017: $906m) are guaranteed by various governments.

2     Includes securities that are supported by an explicit guarantee issued by the US Government.

3     Excludes asset-backed securities included under US Treasury and US Government agencies.

12     Fair values of financial instruments carried at fair value

Control framework

Fair values are subject to a control framework designed to ensure that they are either determined or validated by a function independent of the risk taker.

Where fair values are determined by reference to externally quoted prices or observable pricing inputs to models, independent price determination or validation is used. For inactive markets, HSBC sources alternative market information, with greater weight given to information that is considered to be more relevant and reliable. Examples of the factors considered are price observability, instrument comparability, consistency of data sources, underlying data accuracy and timing of prices.

For fair values determined using valuation models, the control framework includes development or validation by independent support functions of the model logic, inputs, model outputs and adjustments. Valuation models are subject to a process of due diligence before becoming operational and are calibrated against external market data on an ongoing basis.

Changes in fair value are generally subject to a profit and loss analysis process and are disaggregated into high-level categories including portfolio changes, market movements and other fair value adjustments.

The majority of financial instruments measured at fair value are in GB&M. GB&M's fair value governance structure comprises its Finance function, Valuation Committees and a Valuation Committee Review Group. Finance is responsible for establishing procedures governing valuation and ensuring fair values are in compliance with accounting standards. The fair values are reviewed by the Valuation Committees, which consist of independent support functions. These committees are overseen by the Valuation Committee Review Group, which considers all material subjective valuations.

HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018  250


Notes on the financial statements

Financial liabilities measured at fair value

In certain circumstances, HSBC records its own debt in issue at fair value, based on quoted prices in an active market for the specific instrument. When quoted market prices are unavailable, the own debt in issue is valued using valuation techniques, the inputs for which are either based on quoted prices in an inactive market for the instrument or are estimated by comparison with quoted prices in an active market for similar instruments. In both cases, the fair value includes the effect of applying the credit spread that is appropriate to HSBC's liabilities. The change in fair value of issued debt securities attributable to the Group's own credit spread is computed as follows: for each security at each reporting date, an externally verifiable price is obtained or a price is derived using credit spreads for similar securities for the same issuer. Then, using discounted cash flow, each security is valued using a Libor-based discount curve. The difference in the valuations is attributable to the Group's own credit spread. This methodology is applied consistently across all securities.

Structured notes issued and certain other hybrid instruments are included within trading liabilities and are measured at fair value. The credit spread applied to these instruments is derived from the spreads at which HSBC issues structured notes.

Gains and losses arising from changes in the credit spread of liabilities issued by HSBC recorded in other comprehensive income, reverse over the contractual life of the debt, provided that the debt is not repaid at a premium or a discount.

Fair value hierarchy

Fair values of financial assets and liabilities are determined according to the following hierarchy:

·   Level 1 - valuation technique using quoted market price: financial instruments with quoted prices for identical instruments in active markets that HSBC can access at the measurement date.

·   Level 2 - valuation technique using observable inputs: financial instruments with quoted prices for similar instruments in active markets or quoted prices for identical or similar instruments in inactive markets and financial instruments valued using models where all significant inputs are observable.

·   Level 3 - valuation technique with significant unobservable inputs: financial instruments valued using valuation techniques where one or more significant inputs are unobservable.

Financial instruments carried at fair value and bases of valuation


 


 

181,168

101,775

5,052

287,995

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

1,017

216,357

2,444

219,818

24,622

3,382

1,460

29,464

227,943

104,692

3,432

336,067





62,710

117,451

4,200

184,361

4,164

90,265

-

94,429

1,635

213,242

1,944

216,821


The increase in Level 3 assets in 2018 was primarily due to new private equity investments and new derivative transactions with unobservable inputs.


251          HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018


Transfers between Level 1 and Level 2 fair values




Assets


Liabilities


Financial
investments

$m

Trading assets

$m

Designated and otherwise mandatorily measured at fair value

$m

Derivatives

$m

Designated at fair

   Trading liabilities                        value

                          $m                            $m

Derivatives

$m


At 31 Dec 2018







Transfers from Level 1 to Level 2


367

435

2

1

79                                                       -

-

Transfers from Level 2 to Level 1


17,861

4,959

85

128

1,821                                                 -

138


At 31 Dec 2017






Transfers from Level 1 to Level 2

2,231

1,507

-

-

35                                                                                                                  -

-

Transfers from Level 2 to Level 1

11,173

1,384

-

-

683                                                                                                            -

-

Transfers between levels of the fair value hierarchy are deemed to occur at the end of each quarterly reporting period. Transfers into and out of levels of the fair value hierarchy are primarily attributable to observability of valuation inputs and price transparency.

Fair value adjustments

Fair value adjustments are adopted when HSBC determines there are additional factors considered by market participants that are not incorporated within the valuation model. Movements in the level of fair value adjustments do not necessarily result in the recognition of profits or losses within the income statement, such as when models are enhanced and therefore fair value adjustments may no longer be required.

Global Banking & Markets ('GB&M') and Corporate Centre fair value adjustments


Type of adjustment


2018

 

Corporate

                    GB&M                  Centre

                          $m                        $m


     

Risk-related

1,042                                          138

1,078                                                 79

 

- bid-offer

430 99 442 (198) 256 13

76 6 52 - 4 -

413

91 420 (82) 233 3

5

8 59 - 7 -

 

- uncertainty


- credit valuation adjustment ('CVA')


- debit valuation adjustment ('DVA')


- funding fair value adjustment ('FFVA')


- other


Model-related

79                                                     3

92                                                       13

 

- model limitation

79

-

3

-

92

-

6

7

 

- other


Inception profit (Day 1 P&L reserves) (Note 15)

85                                                   -

106                                                      -

 

At 31 Dec

1,206                                          141

1,276                                                92

Bid-offer



IFRS 13 'Fair value measurement' requires use of the price within the bid-offer spread that is most representative of fair value. Valuation models will typically generate mid-market values. The bid-offer adjustment reflects the extent to which bid-offer costs would be incurred if substantially all residual net portfolio market risks were closed using available hedging instruments or by disposing of or unwinding the position.

Uncertainty

Certain model inputs may be less readily determinable from market data, and/or the choice of model itself may be more subjective. In these circumstances, an adjustment may be necessary to reflect the likelihood that market participants would adopt more conservative values for uncertain parameters and/or model assumptions than those used in HSBC's valuation model.

Credit and debit valuation adjustments

The CVA is an adjustment to the valuation of over-the-counter ('OTC') derivative contracts to reflect the possibility that the counterparty may default and that HSBC may not receive the full market value of the transactions.

The DVA is an adjustment to the valuation of OTC derivative contracts to reflect the possibility that HSBC may default, and that it may not pay the full market value of the transactions.

HSBC calculates a separate CVA and DVA for each legal entity, and for each counterparty to which the entity has exposure. With the exception of central
clearing parties, all third-party counterparties are included in the CVA and DVA calculations, and these adjustments are not netted across Group entities.

HSBC calculates the CVA by applying the probability of default ('PD') of the counterparty, conditional on the non-default of HSBC, to HSBC's expected positive exposure to the counterparty and multiplying the result by the loss expected in the event of default. Conversely, HSBC calculates the DVA by applying the PD of HSBC, conditional on the non-default of the counterparty, to the expected positive exposure of the counterparty to HSBC and multiplying the result by the loss expected in the event of default. Both calculations are performed over the life of the potential exposure.

For most products HSBC uses a simulation methodology, which incorporates a range of potential exposures over the life of the portfolio, to calculate the expected positive exposure to a counterparty. The simulation methodology includes credit mitigants, such as counterparty netting agreements and collateral agreements with the counterparty.

The methodologies do not, in general, account for 'wrong-way risk'. Wrong-way risk is an adverse correlation between the counterparty's probability of default and the mark-to-market value of the underlying transaction. The risk can either be general, perhaps related to the currency of the issuer country, or specific to the transaction concerned. When there is significant wrong-way risk, a trade-specific approach is applied to reflect this risk in the valuation.

HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018  252


Notes on the financial statements

Funding fair value adjustment

The FFVA is calculated by applying future market funding spreads to the expected future funding exposure of any uncollateralised component of the OTC derivative portfolio. The expected future funding exposure is calculated by a simulation methodology, where available, and is adjusted for events that may terminate the exposure, such as the default of HSBC or the counterparty. The FFVA and DVA are calculated independently.

Model limitation

Models used for portfolio valuation purposes may be based upon a simplified set of assumptions that do not capture all current and future material market characteristics. In these circumstances, model limitation adjustments are adopted.

Inception profit (Day 1 P&L reserves)

Inception profit adjustments are adopted when the fair value estimated by a valuation model is based on one or more significant unobservable inputs. The accounting for inception profit adjustments is discussed in Note 1.

Fair value valuation bases

Financial instruments measured at fair value using a valuation technique with significant unobservable inputs - Level 3

Assets                                                                                                                        Liabilities

 




Assets



Liabilities




Available for sale

$m

Held for trading

$m

Designated at fair value

$m

Derivatives

$m

Total

$m

Designated at

Held for trading               fair value

                      $m                          $m

Derivatives

$m

Total

$m

Private equity including strategic
investments

2,012

38

1,458

-

3,508

20                                                                                                    -

-

20

Asset-backed securities

1,300

1,277

-

-

2,577

-                                                                                                    -

-

-

Loans held for securitisation

-

24

-

-

24

-                                                                                                    -

-

-

Structured notes

-

3

-

-

3

4,180                                                                                         -

-

4,180

Derivatives with monolines

-

-

-

113

113

-                                                                                                    -

-

-

Other derivatives

-

-

-

2,331

2,331

-                                                                                                    -

1,944

1,944

Other portfolios

120

3,710

2

-

3,832

-                                                                                                    -

-

-

At 31 Dec 2017

3,432

5,052

1,460

2,444

12,388

4,200                                                                                         -

1,944

6,144

 

Level 3 instruments are present in both ongoing and legacy businesses. Loans held for securitisation, derivatives with monolines, certain 'other derivatives' and predominantly all Level 3 ABSs are legacy positions. HSBC has the capability to hold these positions.

Private equity including strategic investments

The fair value of a private equity investments (including strategic investments) is estimated on the basis of an analysis of the investee's financial position and results, risk profile, prospects and other factors; by reference to market valuations for similar entities quoted in an active market; or the price at which similar companies have changed ownership.

Asset-backed securities

While quoted market prices are generally used to determine the fair value of the asset-backed securities ('ABSs'), valuation models are used to substantiate the reliability of the limited market data available and to identify whether any adjustments to quoted market prices are required. For certain ABSs, such as residential mortgage-backed securities, the valuation uses an industry standard model with assumptions relating to prepayment speeds, default rates and loss severity based on collateral type, and performance, as appropriate. The valuations output is benchmarked for consistency against observable data for securities of a similar nature.

Structured notes

The fair value of Level 3 structured notes is derived from the fair value of the underlying debt security, and the fair value of the embedded derivative is determined as described in the paragraph below on derivatives. These structured notes comprise principally equity-linked notes issued by HSBC, which provide the counterparty with a return linked to the performance of equity securities and other portfolios. Examples of the unobservable parameters include long-dated equity volatilities and correlations between equity prices, and interest and foreign exchange rates.

Derivatives

OTC derivative valuation models calculate the present value of expected future cash flows, based upon 'no arbitrage' principles. For many vanilla derivative products, the modelling approaches used are standard across the industry. For more complex derivative products, there may be some differences in market practice. Inputs to valuation models are determined from observable market data wherever possible, including prices available from exchanges, dealers,

253          HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018


brokers or providers of consensus pricing. Certain inputs may not be observable in the market directly, but can be determined from observable prices via

model calibration procedures or estimated from historical data or other sources.

Reconciliation of fair value measurements in Level 3 of the fair value hierarchy

Movement in Level 3 financial instruments


Assets                                                                               Liabilities

 

Financial investments

Trading assets

Designated and otherwise mandatorily measured at fair value through profit

or loss                         Derivatives

Trading liabilities

Designated at

fair value                Derivatives

$m                     $m                       $m                     $m                   $m                        $m                    $m

1,767                5,080                  3,958               2,444                  93                   4,107                 1,949


Total gains/(losses) recognised in profit or loss

251                               284                     608                      597                   (4)                   (637)                  255

- net income from financial instruments held for trading or managed on a fair value basis

-

-

-

251

-

284

-

-

-

-

-

-

608

-

-

597

-

-

-

-

(4)                      

-

-

-

-

-

-

(637)

-

-

255

-

-

-

-

- net income from assets and liabilities of insurance businesses, including related derivatives, measured at fair value through profit or loss

- changes in fair value of other financial instruments mandatorily measured at fair value through profit or loss

- gains less losses from financial investments at fair value through other comprehensive income

- expected credit loss charges and other credit risk charges

- fair value gains transferred to the income statement on disposal

-                                     -                           -                       -                    -                       -                          -

Total gains/(losses) recognised in other comprehensive income ('OCI')            1                         17                   (274)                  (107)                (113)                   (3)                   (144)                  (82)

- financial investments: fair value gains/(losses)

15 - - 2

- - - (274)

- 6 - (113)

- 6 - (119)

- - - (3)

- - - (144)

- 2 - (84)

- cash flow hedges: fair value gains/(losses)

- fair value gains transferred to the income statement on disposal

- exchange differences

Purchases                                                                                                                                                       275              4,377                  2,172                       -                    3                        76                         -

 

Unrealised gains/(losses) recognised in profit or loss relating to assets and

liabilities held at 31 Dec 2018                                                                                                                     -                    (5)                     199                      342                   (5)                   274                  (351)

- net income from financial instruments held
for trading or managed on a fair value basis

-

-

-

-

(5)

-

-

-

-

-

199

-

342

-

-

-

(5)     -

-

-

-

-

274

-

(351)

-

-

-

- net income from assets and liabilities of

insurance businesses, including related derivatives
measured at fair value through profit or loss

- changes in fair value of other financial
instruments mandatorily measured at fair
value through profit or loss

- loan impairment recoveries and other credit
risk provisions

 

Movement in Level 3 financial instruments (continued)

Assets                                                                              Liabilities

Designated                                                             Designated

at fair value                                                           at fair value

    Available              Held for   through profit                                           Held for through profit

     for sale               trading                or loss          Derivatives            trading                or loss          Derivatives

Footnotes                   $m                      $m                     $m                        $m                   $m                      $m                        $m

At 1 Jan 2017                              3,476                6,489                    730                 2,752             3,582                       37                  2,300

Total gains/(losses) recognised in profit or loss                                                                                  351                 (188)                   (107)                   152                 154                     (5)                     400

- trading income/(expense) excluding net interest income

-

-

313

38

(188)

-

-

-

-

(107)

-

-

152

-

-

-

154

-

-

-

-

(5)

-

-

400

-

-

-

- net income from other financial instruments designated at fair value

- gains less losses from financial investments

- loan impairment charges and other credit risk provisions ('LICs')

 

Total gains/(losses) recognised in other comprehensive income ('OCI')            1                           71                 106                           7                      188                 169                        1                     120

HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018  254


Notes on the financial statements


 

Purchases

200

1,503

1,127

2

5

-

23

New issuances

-

-

-

1

1,915

-

-

Sales

(939)

(3,221)

(130)

(8)

(12)

-

(12)

Settlements

(69)

(331)

(166)

(60)

(998)

-

(123)

Transfers out

(565)

(149)

(3)

(885)

(678)

(33)

(1,030)

Transfers in

907

843

2

302

63

-

266

At 31 Dec 2017

3,432

5,052

1,460

2,444

4,200

-

1,944

Unrealised gains/(losses) recognised in profit or loss relating to assets and liabilities held at 31 Dec 2017

16

(110)

(146)

218

(117)

-

(397)

- trading income/(expense) excluding net interest income

-

-

16

(110)

-

-

-

(146)

-

218

-

-

(117)

-

-

-

-

-

(397)

-

-

 

- net income from other financial instruments designated at fair value


- loan impairment charges and other credit risk provisions


 

1 Included in 'Available-for-sale investments: fair value gains/(losses)' in prior years or 'Debt Instruments at fair value through other comprehensive income' in 2018 and 'Exchange differences'

in the consolidated statement of comprehensive income.

Transfers between levels of the fair value hierarchy are deemed to occur at the end of each quarterly reporting period. Transfers into and out of levels of the fair value hierarchy are primarily attributable to observability of valuation inputs and price transparency.

Effect of changes in significant unobservable assumptions to reasonably possible alternatives

Sensitivity of Level 3 fair values to reasonably possible alternative assumptions

Footnotes


2018




2017



Reflected in profit or loss


Reflected in OCI

Reflected in profit or loss


Reflected in OCI

Un-

           Favourable             favourable

                changes                  changes

                        $m                         $m

Favourable changes

$m

Un-

favourable changes

$m

Un-

         Favourable           favourable

              changes               changes

  $m                         $m

Favourable changes

$m

Un-

favourable changes

$m

Derivatives, trading assets and trading

liabilities                                                                 1

269

(257)

-

-

372

(253)

-

-

Designated and otherwise mandatorily measured at fair value through profit or loss

394

(310)

-

-

89

(74)

-

-

Financial investments

34

(36)

23

(22)

53

(30)

128

(149)

At 31 Dec

697

(603)

23

(22)

514

(357)

128

(149)

 

1     Derivatives, trading assets and trading liabilities are presented as one category to reflect the manner in which these instruments are risk managed.

Sensitivity of Level 3 fair values to reasonably possible alternative assumptions by instrument type

2018


Reflected in profit or loss                   Reflected in OCI

 

Favourable changes

$m

Un-

favourable
changes

$m

Favourable
changes

$m

Un-

favourable changes

$m

142

(105)

117

(102)

66

(39)

3

(39)

1

(1)

-

-

12

(9)

-

-

-

-

-

-

249

(150)

-

-

44

(53)

8

(8)

514

(357)

128

(149)

 


The sensitivity analysis aims to measure a range of fair values consistent with the application of a 95% confidence interval. Methodologies take account of the nature of the valuation technique employed, as well as the availability and reliability of observable proxy and historical data.

When the fair value of a financial instrument is affected by more than one unobservable assumption, the above table reflects the most favourable or the most unfavourable change from varying the assumptions individually.

Key unobservable inputs to Level 3 financial instruments


255          HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018


The following table lists key unobservable inputs to Level 3 financial instruments, and provides the range of those inputs at 31 December 2018. The core range of inputs is the estimated range within which 90% of the inputs fall.

Quantitative information about significant unobservable inputs in Level 3 valuations

Fair value                                                                                                                    2018                                                                     2017


 


Footnotes $m                                $m                                                                                                                                    Lower Higher Lower Higher Lower Higher Lower Higher

 

Other derivatives


2,358                    1,755










- Interest rate derivatives:


233

1,019

250

186

113

215

310

32

700

27

148

244

77

267

216

76











securitisation swaps


Model - Discounted cash flow

Prepayment

rate

6%

7%

6%

7%

20%

90%

20%

90%

long-dated swaptions


Model - Option

model

IR volatility

13%

39%

14%

36%

8%

41%

15%

31%

other












- FX derivatives:












FX options


Model - Option

model

FX volatility

1%

27%

7%

12%

0.7%

50%

5%

11%

other












- Equity derivatives:












long-dated single stock options


Model - Option

model

Equity volatility

5%

83%

5%

81%

7%

84%

15%

44%

other












- Credit derivatives:












other












Other portfolios


6,443                            1










- structured certificates


3,013

3,430

-

1

Model -

Discounted cash

flow

Credit volatility

2%

4%

2%

4%

2%

4%

2%

4%

- other

3











At 31 Dec 2018


16,674                  7,142










 

1       The core range of inputs is the estimated range within which 90% of the inputs fall.

2       Collateralised loan obligation/collateralised debt obligation.

3       'Other' includes a range of smaller asset holdings.

Private equity including strategic investments

Given the bespoke nature of the analysis in respect of each private equity holding, it is not practical to quote a range of key unobservable inputs.

Prepayment rates

Prepayment rates are a measure of the anticipated future speed at which a loan portfolio will be repaid in advance of the due date. They vary according to the nature of the loan portfolio and expectations of future market conditions, and may be estimated using a variety of evidence, such as prepayment rates implied from proxy observable security prices, current or historical prepayment rates and macroeconomic modelling.

Market proxy

Market proxy pricing may be used for an instrument when specific market pricing is not available but there is evidence from instruments with common characteristics. In some cases it might be possible to identify a specific proxy, but more generally evidence across a wider range of instruments will be used to understand the factors that influence current market pricing and the manner of that influence.

Volatility

HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018  256


Notes on the financial statements

Volatility is a measure of the anticipated future variability of a market price. It varies by underlying reference market price, and by strike and maturity of the option.

Certain volatilities, typically those of a longer-dated nature, are unobservable and are estimated from observable data. The range of unobservable volatilities reflects the wide variation in volatility inputs by reference market price. The core range is significantly narrower than the full range because these examples with extreme volatilities occur relatively rarely within the HSBC portfolio.

Correlation

Correlation is a measure of the inter-relationship between two market prices and is expressed as a number between minus one and one. It is used to value more complex instruments where the payout is dependent upon more than one market price. There is a wide range of instruments for which correlation is an input, and consequently a wide range of both same-asset correlations and cross-asset correlations is used. In general, the range of same-asset correlations will be narrower than the range of cross-asset correlations.

Unobservable correlations may be estimated based upon a range of evidence, including consensus pricing services, HSBC trade prices, proxy correlations and examination of historical price relationships. The range of unobservable correlations quoted in the table reflects the wide variation in correlation inputs by market price pair.

Credit spread

Credit spread is the premium over a benchmark interest rate required by the market to accept lower credit quality. In a discounted cash flow model, the credit spread increases the discount factors applied to future cash flows, thereby reducing the value of an asset. Credit spreads may be implied from market prices and may not be observable in more illiquid markets.

Inter-relationships between key unobservable inputs

Key unobservable inputs to Level 3 financial instruments may not be independent of each other. As described above, market variables may be correlated. This correlation typically reflects the manner in which different markets tend to react to macroeconomic or other events. Furthermore, the effect of changing market variables on the HSBC portfolio will depend on HSBC's net risk position in respect of each variable.

HSBC Holdings


 


257          HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018


 


Notes on the financial statements

Financial investments

The fair values of listed financial investments are determined using bid market prices. The fair values of unlisted financial investments are determined using valuation techniques that incorporate the prices and future earnings streams of equivalent quoted securities.

Deposits by banks and customer accounts

The fair values of on-demand deposits are approximated by their carrying value. For deposits with longer-term maturities, fair values are estimated using discounted cash flows, applying current rates offered for deposits of similar remaining maturities.

Debt securities in issue and subordinated liabilities

Fair values in debt securities is issue and subordinated liabilities are determined using quoted market prices at the balance sheet date where available, or by reference to quoted market prices for similar instruments.

Repurchase and reverse repurchase agreements - non-trading

Fair values of repurchase and reverse repurchase agreements that are held on a non-trading basis provide approximate carrying amounts. This is due to the fact that balances are generally short dated.

HSBC Holdings

The methods used by HSBC Holdings to determine fair values of financial instruments for the purposes of measurement and disclosure are described above. Fair values of HSBC Holdings' financial instruments not carried at fair value on the balance sheet


15 Derivatives

Notional contract amounts and fair values of derivatives by product contract type held by HSBC

Notional contract amount                                                            Fair value - Assets         Fair value - Liabilities

Trading                 Hedging                    Trading                  Hedging                         Total                    Trading                Hedging                         Total

$m                           $m                            $m                            $m                            $m                            $m                          $m                            $m


 

6,215,518

28,768

78,089

428

78,517

74,915

853

75,768

19,751,577

178,289

235,430

1,365

236,795

229,989

3,042

233,031

590,156

-

9,353

-

9,353

11,845

-

11,845

391,798

-

4,692

-

4,692

5,369

-

5,369

59,716

-

886

-

886

1,233

-

1,233

27,008,765

207,057

328,450

1,793

330,243

323,351

3,895

327,246





(110,425)



(110,425)

27,008,765

207,057

328,450

1,793

219,818

323,351

3,895

216,821

 


The notional contract amounts of derivatives held for trading purposes and derivatives designated in hedge accounting relationships indicate the nominal value of transactions outstanding at the balance sheet date; they do not represent amounts at risk.

Derivative assets and liabilities decreased during 2018, driven by the adoption of Settled to Market accounting for cleared derivatives, yield curve movements and changes in foreign exchange rates.

Notional contract amounts and fair values of derivatives by product contract type held by HSBC Holdings with subsidiaries



Notional contract amount


Assets



Liabilities


Trading

$m

Hedging

$m

Trading

$m

Hedging

$m

Total

$m

Trading

$m

Hedging

$m

Total

$m

Foreign exchange


16,623

1,120

207

-

207

628

155

783

Interest rate


44,059

38,148

283

217

500

538

838

1,376


At 31 Dec 2018

60,682

39,268

490

217

707

1,166

993

2,159










Foreign exchange

20,484

1,120

588

-

588

1,330

110

1,440

Interest rate

41,061

25,294

1,364

436

1,800

678

964

1,642


At 31 Dec 2017                                                                 61,545

26,414

1,952

436

2,388

2,008

1,074

3,082

 

Use of derivatives

For details regarding use of derivatives, see page 138 under 'Market Risk'.

Trading derivatives

Most of HSBC's derivative transactions relate to sales and trading activities. Sales activities include the structuring and marketing of derivative products to customers to enable them to take, transfer, modify or reduce current or expected risks. Trading activities include market-making and risk management. Market-making entails quoting bid and offer prices to other market participants for the purpose of generating revenue based on spread and volume. Risk management activity is undertaken to manage the risk arising from client transactions, with the principal purpose of retaining client margin. Other derivatives classified as held for trading include non-qualifying hedging derivatives.

Substantially all of HSBC Holdings' derivatives entered into with subsidiaries are managed in conjunction with financial liabilities designated at fair value. Derivatives valued using models with unobservable inputs

The difference between the fair value at initial recognition (the transaction price) and the value that would have been derived had valuation techniques used for subsequent measurement been applied at initial recognition, less subsequent releases, is as shown in the following table:

Unamortised balance of derivatives valued using models with significant unobservable inputs

 


Footnotes

2018 $m

2017 $m

Unamortised balance at 1 Jan


106

99

Deferral on new transactions


161

191

Recognised in the income statement during the year:


(158)

(187)

- amortisation


(96)

(2)

(60)

(85)

(2)

(100)

- subsequent to unobservable inputs becoming observable


- maturity, termination or offsetting derivative


Exchange differences


(4)

10

Other


(19)

(7)

Unamortised balance at 31 Dec

1

86

106

1      This amount is yet to be recognised in the consolidated income statement.



 

Hedge accounting derivatives

HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018  260


Notes on the financial statements

HSBC applies hedge accounting to manage the following risks: interest rate, foreign exchange and net investment in foreign operations. Further details on how these risks arise and how they are managed by the Group can be found in the Report of the Directors.

Fair value hedges

HSBC enters into fixed-for-floating-interest-rate swaps to manage the exposure to changes in fair value caused by movements in market interest rates on certain fixed-rate financial instruments that are not measured at fair value through profit or loss, including debt securities held and issued.


HSBC hedging instrument by hedged risk

Hedging instrument

Carrying amount

Notional amount1                                       Assets                                   Liabilities                                Balance sheet            Change in fair value2 

Hedged risk                                                                                                $m                                               $m                                               $m                                presentation                                              $m

Interest rate3


123,551                                                                                   915                                         2,123                                Derivatives                                              283


At 31 Dec 2018

123,551                                                                                   915                                         2,123                                                                                                   283




 

1     The notional contract amounts of derivatives designated in qualifying hedge accounting relationships indicate the nominal value of transactions outstanding at the balance sheet date; they do not represent amounts at risk.

2     Used in effectiveness testing; comprising the full fair value change of the hedging instrument not excluding any component.

3     The hedged risk 'interest rate' includes inflation risk.

HSBC hedged item by hedged risk

Hedged item                                                                                                                          Ineffectiveness


 


At 31 Dec 2018

94,924                         18,951                    225                      (110)                                                                                             (320)                                       (37)



1       Used in effectiveness assessment; comprising amount attributable to the designated hedged risk that can be a risk component.

2       The accumulated amount of fair value adjustments remaining in the statement of financial position for hedged items that have ceased to be adjusted for hedging gains and losses were assets of $93m for FVOCI and assets of $19m for debt issued.

3       The hedged risk 'interest rate' includes inflation risk.

HSBC Holdings hedging instrument by hedged risk

Hedging instrument

Carrying amount


 


1     The notional contract amounts of derivatives designated in qualifying hedge accounting relationships indicate the nominal value of transactions outstanding at the balance sheet date; they do not represent amounts at risk.

2     Used in effectiveness testing; comprising the full fair value change of the hedging instrument not excluding any component.

3     The hedged risk 'interest rate' includes foreign exchange risk.

4     The notional amount of non-dynamic fair value hedges is equal to $39,538m, of which the weighted-average maturity date is December 2026 and the weighted-average swap rate is 1.34%. The majority of these hedges are internal to HSBC Group.

HSBC Holdings hedged item by hedged risk

Hedged item                                                                                                                             Ineffectiveness


 


At 31 Dec 2018

4,620                            33,874                           29                             (763)                                                           229                                       (2)



1     Used in effectiveness assessment; comprising amount attributable to the designated hedged risk that can be a risk component.

2     The accumulated amount of fair value adjustments remaining in the statement of financial position for hedged items that have ceased to be adjusted for hedging gains and losses were liabilities of $80m for debt issued.

3     The hedged risk 'interest rate' includes foreign exchange risk.

261          HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018


Sources of hedge ineffectiveness may arise from basis risk, including but not limited to the discount rates used for calculating the fair value of derivatives, hedges using instruments with a non-zero fair value, and notional and timing differences between the hedged items and hedging instruments.

For some debt securities held, HSBC manages interest rate risk in a dynamic risk management strategy. The assets in scope of this strategy are high-quality fixed-rate debt securities, which may be sold to meet liquidity and funding requirements.

The interest rate risk of the HSBC fixed-rate debt securities issued is managed in a non-dynamic risk management strategy. Cash flow hedges

HSBC's cash flow hedging instruments consist principally of interest rate swaps and cross-currency swaps that are used to manage the variability in future interest cash flows of non-trading financial assets and liabilities, arising due to changes in market interest rates and foreign-currency basis.

HSBC applies macro cash flow hedging for interest rate risk exposures on portfolios of replenishing current and forecasted issuances of non-trading assets and liabilities that bear interest at variable rates, including rolling such instruments. The amounts and timing of future cash flows, representing both principal and interest flows, are projected for each portfolio of financial assets and liabilities on the basis of their contractual terms and other relevant factors, including estimates of prepayments and defaults. The aggregate cash flows representing both principal balances and interest cash flows across all portfolios are used to determine the effectiveness and ineffectiveness. Macro cash flow hedges are considered to be dynamic hedges.

HSBC also hedges the variability in future cash flows on foreign-denominated financial assets and liabilities arising due to changes in foreign exchange market rates with cross-currency swaps, which are considered dynamic hedges.

Hedging instrument by hedged risk

Hedging instrument                                                                           Hedged item                                    Ineffectiveness

 

At 31 Dec 2018

64,674                                               460                      791                                                                 (275)                       (267)                                 (8)



1     The notional contract amounts of derivatives designated in qualifying hedge accounting relationships indicate the nominal value of transactions outstanding at the balance sheet date; they do not represent amounts at risk.

2     Used in effectiveness testing; comprising the full fair value change of the hedging instrument not excluding any component.

3     Used in effectiveness assessment; comprising amount attributable to the designated hedged risk that can be a risk component.

Sources of hedge ineffectiveness may arise from basis risk, including but not limited to timing differences between the hedged items and hedging instruments and hedges using instruments with a non-zero fair value.

Reconciliation of equity and analysis of other comprehensive income by risk type

HSBC Holdings plc Annual Report and Accounts 2018  262


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