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Despite the decrease in earnings, the bank’s results ‘continue to show solid progress,’ CEO Lindsay Gordon says.

Ryan Carter/The Globe and Mail

HSBC Bank Canada is citing pressure on interest rate margins in the current low-interest environment as a major factor in an 11-per-cent decrease in profits in the third quarter.

The bank, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings PLC, said net profits attributable to common shareholders were $162-million, or 33 cents per basic share, in the three months ended Sept. 30. That compared with $182-million, or 36 cents, in the prior-year period.

Net operating income was $501-million, down from $590-million.

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That was partially offset by reduced operating expenses, the bank said Wednesday.

President and chief executive officer Lindsay Gordon, who is stepping down in January, said that despite the decrease in earnings the results "continue to show solid progress."

"We have refocused the bank around our core businesses while improving the efficiency of our operations," he said.

"Our initiatives have created a strong platform to deliver on our strategic objective of being the leading international bank in Canada and to ensure we continue to meet our customers' needs."

HSBC Bank Canada said total assets at Sept. 30 were $84.5-billion, an increase of $4.4-billion from Dec. 31.

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