, the biggest bank in Europe, said its first-quarter performance was "very good" and well ahead of a year earlier on lower loan impairment charges.
HSBC said its U.S. business reported pretax profits for the first time since the financial crisis started in 2007.
HSBC said its personal financial services and commercial banking segments accounted for most of the first-quarter improvement.
HSBC reports earnings only two times a year.
The bank said underlying pretax profits in the first quarter "were comfortably ahead" of both the year-earlier first quarter and the fourth quarter of 2009. On a reported basis, pretax profits were lower than in the first quarter of 2009, largely due to a big gain in the year-ago quarter.
-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.
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