HSBC Holdings PLC's North American arm still isn't adding much to the company yet, but it has reduced its consumer finance losses to the point where it is no longer weighing down its parent.

On Monday HSBC reported a blowout first-half pretax profit of $11.1 billion, double its earnings a year earlier. Though the improvement of the company's U.S. business was among the highlights, the North American operation was the only geographic subsidiary to report a loss.

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