Banking giant HSBC Monday reported a 6 percent drop in full-year profits to 20.6 billion US dollars (13.7 billion pounds).
The figure, which comes despite HSBC's record fine of 1.9 billion US dollars (.2 billion pounds) to settle a US investigation into money-laundering, was below forecasts of around 23.4 billion US dollars (15.6 billion pounds), experts said.
The banking group makes an estimated 90 percent of its money outside Britain and has benefited from its exposure to emerging markets in Asia.
Chief executive Stuart Gulliver received a bonus of just under 2 million pounds as part of a total pay and benefits package worth 7.4 million pounds.
The overall figure, which compares with 8 million pounds a year earlier, includes his base salary of 1.25 million pounds, around 1.2 million pounds of benefits including pension entitlement, plus long-term share incentive awards worth 3 million pounds.
HSBC suffered massive losses at the start of the financial crisis, due to its investment in US sub-prime mortgage lender Household Finance, but since taking over as chief executive in 2011 Gulliver has led an overhaul of the bank's operations.
He has reduced staff by around 10 percent to the current 270,000 and announced the disposal or closure of 47 businesses and non-core investments.
Stripping out the impact of movements in the value of its debt, HSBC said underlying profits were up 18 percent to 16.4 billion US dollars (10.9 billion pounds).
This includes the fines levied by US authorities and an increased provision of 1.7 billion US dollars (1.1 billion pounds) to cover insurance mis-selling claims and 598 million US dollars (398 million pounds) on interest rate swaps in the UK.
In a statement, Gulliver said: "HSBC made significant progress in 2012. First and foremost we grew our business. We increased revenues, performed well in most faster-growing markets and enjoyed a record year in commercial banking.