HSBC profits soar, but Archegos hits UBS, Nomura

There were signs of a brighter outlook for big banks on Tuesday (April 27), but one big cloud too.

Profits at HSBC soared 79% in the first quarter.

That took pre-tax earnings to almost $5.8 billion - way ahead of analyst forecasts.

The Asia-focused bank said it was more optimistic than just a few months ago.

It expects growth to rebound in every economy where it operates.

Chief Executive Noel Quinn cited U.S. and UK progress in tackling the health crisis as among the positives.

It's reducing the provisions it made for bad loans as a result.

HSBC shares rose over one percent in early trade following the news.

There was a more complex picture over at UBS.

The Swiss lender also beat forecasts, posting a 14% jump in quarterly net profits thanks to frenzied trading.

But the world's largest wealth manager took a hit over the collapse of U.S. investment fund Archegos.

That cost it $774 million.

The news surprised analysts, with UBS previously facing little scrutiny over connections to Archegos.

Local rival Credit Suisse has taken the flak instead, after it took a hit of around $5 billion.

Fallout from the failure also reached Japan.

Nomura on Tuesday said it was taking a $2.3 billion hit over Archegos.

That caused it to post its biggest quarterly loss since the 2008 global financial crisis.

Until Archegos failed the bank had been on track to post record annual earnings.