Globalised systems were applauded for their part in the $10 billion profits HSBC announced for the first half of 2008 today. The London based global banking group described itself as “resilient” as the banking sector endures its worst slow down of recent years.

HSBC reported that pre-tax profits fell by 28 per cent to $10.2bn, slightly ahead of what had been predicted.

“The first half of 2008 saw the most difficult financial markets for several decades, marked by significant declines in profitability throughout much of our industry,” said Stephen Green, group chairman of HSBC. “HSBC was not immune from the turmoil. Our pre-tax profit of $10.2bn was 28 per cent lower than in the first half of 2007. In the prevailing market conditions this is a resilient performance which enables us to maintain our capital strength.”

One HSBC, part of the bank’s ‘Joining up the company’ strategy aims to increase revenues. The One HSBC programme is a “re-engineering “ process to place the bank onto a single global system that reduces costs in the bank. Divisions in Brunei, Chile, Indonesia Poland, Russia and Slovakia joined the program in the first half. Later this year India will join. “Standardising our service proposition under the One HSBC programme has cut our service interruptions in half,” the bank reported.

Three quarters of the bank’s global credit card business is now on the programme. HSBC is now looking to use the One HSBC programme more extensively in developing markets.

HSBC recently renewed a deal with IT services provider CapGemini for a further two years, extending a deal with a 17 year vintage. CapGemini provides service to the consumer lending, credit cards, consumer finance and insurance divisions of HSBC. As part of the new deal CapGemini will work with HSBC to increase the speed it can deliver products.

Based in London, HSBC is one of the largest banks in the world providing financial services to 85 countries in Europe, Hong Kong, Middle East, Africa, North and Latin America; and Asia Pacific.

Related stories:

HSBC says global IT is vital, as profits rise