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HSBC Canada profit grows in first quarter

Profit at HSBC Bank Canada increased in the first quarter.

DENIS BALIBOUSE/REUTERS

HSBC Bank Canada saw its profit grow in the first quarter of 2012 as net interest income went up and operating expenses went down.

The bank reported a profit of $220 million or 41 cents per share for the quarter ended March 31, up from $160 million or 28 cents per share in 2011.

Net interest income was $398 million, compared to $382 million a year ago.

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Profit attributable to common shareholders was $202 million, up 42 per cent from a year earlier.

The bank attributed the increase largely to a gain of $84 million from the sale of its full service retail brokerage business, as well as increased net interest income and reduced operating expenses.

Those positives were however offset by restructuring charges of $36 million related to the wind-down of the consumer finance business and lower net fee income.

Excluding the gain on the sale of the full service retail brokerage business, the restructuring charges and after income tax expense, the bank said its profit for the quarter was $173 million, up $13 million from a year earlier.

HSBC Bank Canada president and CEO Lindsay Gordon said the bank's quarterly profit showed "good growth" from 2011 figures.

"We are focused on growing HSBC Bank Canada by continuing to improve the efficiency of our business and investing in our core businesses in Commercial Banking, Global Banking and Markets, and Retail Banking and Wealth Management to meet the needs of HSBC Canada customers in the years ahead," he said.

Vancouver-based HSBC Bank Canada, a unit of HSBC Holdings PLC, one of the world's largest banking and financial services companies, is Canada's biggest foreign-owned bank with about 8,000 employees and over 140 bank branches.

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