The U.S. asset totals at some big European banks surged to new highs last year even as some beleaguered Japanese banks reduced their holdings in this market, according to an American Banker survey.

Among the big increases: France's Societe Generale increased its U.S. holdings by 46%, to $52 billion; Holland's ABN Amro added 32%, for a total of $61 billion; and London-based HSBC Holdings PLC increased its U.S. assets by 37%, to $39 billion.

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