HSBC eyes $600 million in losses if Coronavirus persists

A woman wearing a face mask walks at a commercial and residential complex, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, in Beijing's central business district, China February 18, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

LONDON (Reuters) - HSBC could be forced to take $600 million in additional provisions against loan losses if the Coronavirus outbreak persists into the second half of this year, Chief Financial Officer Ewan Stevenson said on Tuesday.

He said HSBC has modelled several scenarios for the impact of the virus on its business, and in the more extreme of those in which it carries on, the lender would have to assume bad loans rising to that amount.

“There will be revenue impacts which will become progressively more acute if the coronavirus was to continue beyond the next month to six weeks,” Stevenson told analysts on a conference call.

Reporting By Lawrence White; editing by David Evans