Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 20 May 2019

Morgan Stanley quarterly profits soar

US lender's earnings rise to $2.11 billion in the third quarter ended September 30 from $1.78bn a year earlier

Morgan Stanley HQ in New York. US banks are surging. AP
Morgan Stanley HQ in New York. US banks are surging. AP

Morgan Stanley reported a 19 per cent increase in quarterly profit on Tuesday, with strong performance in its equities trading business outweighing weakness in bond trading.

Net income attributable to Morgan Stanley rose to $2.11 billion, or $1.17 per share, in the third quarter ended September 30, from $1.78bn, or 93 cents per share, a year ago.

Analysts were expecting $1.01 per share, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv. It was not immediately clear if the reported results were comparable.

Separately, HSBC UK said on Tuesday some of its customers were struggling to access online banking, the second outage of the lender's digital services in weeks. "We are investigating further and will provide further updates," the bank said on Twitter after a number of customers used the social media platform to flag problems accessing HSBC's site.

The bank's mobile banking app also suffered a brief glitch in September, one of a series of outages at Britain's biggest lenders in the past few months.

Technical problems at banks have prompted criticism from customers and from lawmakers, who in September called on Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays to explain what caused the problems and how they would compensate affected customers. Outages can cause significant disruption to customers, who are increasingly reliant on digital services as banks close branches and encourage clients to move online.

The impact of a severe outage was brought into sharp focus earlier this year, when mid-sized lender TSB was plunged into chaos after a botched IT migration saw some customers locked out of their accounts for over a week.

The outage tarnished TSB's brand just as it was gearing up to try and win more market share from Britain's biggest banks, cost hundreds of millions of pounds and prompted the resignation of the bank's CEO Paul Pester.

Updated: October 18, 2018 07:30 PM