HSBC Americas Inc. said its fourth-quarter earnings rose 31%, to $81 million.

Marine Midland Bank, based in Buffalo, is the principal operating unit of HSBC Americas.

The results are not strictly comparable to 1994. They include earnings on some $2 billion in assets from Concord Leasing, which Marine Midland folded into its own operations this year.

Two other operations, including six HongKong Bank branches in New York City, and branches acquired in upstate New York, have also been added to the results.

Net income for the year rose 27%, to $292 million, again on a noncomparable basis.

Most of the improvement in operating results stems from growth in loans and deposits as well as from an improvement in net interest income, HSBC said.

Fred Debussey, a senior director at Fitch Investors Service, said that Marine Midland's ratio of expenses to revenues has improved, to 56% from 66%.

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