HSBC says first quarter pretax profits up 4 percent despite regulatory costs

Markets Associated Press

HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, says pretax profits were up 4 percent to $7.1 billion in the first quarter from a year earlier, even as it beat back increasing regulatory costs.

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The bank is increasing internal controls after enduring a string of scandals and paid billions in penalties to regulators around the world. It is under pressure from politicians and authorities alike after recent revelations that its Swiss private bank helped the wealthy evade taxes.

It set aside $137 million for British customer redress programs.

CEO Stuart Gulliver, said Tuesday the business recovered well following a difficult final quarter in 2014 and that the bank experienced lower loan impairment charges in Europe and North America. Gulliver says HSBC will continue "to deliver cost-savings over the remainder of 2015 and beyond."