HSBC is to double its efforts in the insurance market with reports that the banking giant is to raise insurance profit targets from £1bn to £2bn per year over the next five years.

Citing City sources, The Times claimed that HSBC is to increase insurance profits from 10% to 20% of its overall profits by 2011.

In order to achieve this massive growth, expectation is that the bank will hit the acquisition trail in order to raise its presence in the sector, one in which Michael Geoghegan, chief executive, believes the group has been underperforming.

Last week, HSBC Insurance (Asia) announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire the non-life insurance portfolio of Jerneh Insurance (HK) Limited, which has a gross asset value of approximately £2.3m and comprises approximately 10,000 policies in medical, motor, employee compensation and public liability insurance.