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Investment banking boost for HSBC profits.

HSBC bank bosses yesterday hailed a "resilient" start to 2009, thanks to record investment banking results.

The group said firstquarter, pre-tax profits were "well ahead" of a year ago.

The figures were boosted by one-off gains, however, and with these stripped out profits were down on a year ago - but still significantly higher than the last three months of 2008, HSBC said.

They also saw better-thanfeared levels of bad debts at their troubled US consumer lending arm HSBC Finance.

HSBC were the last of the major UK banks to report on first-quarter trading.

They gave similarly encouraging results to those reported by their rivals, benefiting from a rebound in investment banking.

However, bosses sounded a note of caution.

Chief executive Michael Geoghegan said it was too early to see "green shoots" of recovery, despite an increase in confidence. He added: "The reality is people are concerned about employment and are not yet sure if they want to make financial commitments.

"We're in this recession and not coming out of it yet."

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Article Type:Financial report
Date:May 12, 2009
Words:175
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