HSBC plc (HSBC)  surged to a near four-year and led bank stocks around the region to solid gains in early European trading as investors repriced growth and profit expectations for the world's biggest lenders.

The advanced followed much better-than-expected dividend and share buyback plans unveiled by some of the biggest U.S. banks, including Citigroup   (C - Get Report)  , Bank of America  (BAC - Get Report)  and Morgan Stanley (MS - Get Report)  late Wednesday after Federal Reserve stress tests opened the door for bigger shareholder returns in the coming quarters.

HSBC shares gained more than 4.6% in the opening hour of London trading to change hands at 717.1 pence each, the highest since August 2013, after hitting the highest intra-day level in Hong Kong trading for at least nine years.

Watch More with TheStreet:

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.