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Opinion
Andy Mukherjee

HSBC Got Its Lions Back. Can the Bank Roar Again?

CEO Noel Quinn needs to show a path to normal profitability for 2022 and beyond.

A woman touches the paws of a bronze lion statue, restored after being vandalized in Hong Kong’s protests.

A woman touches the paws of a bronze lion statue, restored after being vandalized in Hong Kong’s protests.

Photographer: Miguel Candela/SOPA/LightRocket/Getty

HSBC Holdings Plc is a bank in limbo. Pandemic-related bad loans have messed up its cost-reduction plan. Coming in the crosshairs of the U.S.-China conflict made investors nervous about the jewel in its crown: the Hong Kong franchise. 

Lower-for-longer interest rates aren’t good news for its margins. To that, add a U.K. regulatory ban on paying dividends, and there were ample reasons this year for investors to drive the stock price down to a 25-year low.