Pre-tax profit at Europe’s biggest lender jumped 32% from a year ago in the third quarter, beating analysts’ expectations.
Its profit was $6.1bn (£3.9bn), up from $4.6bn in the same period a year earlier and above forecasts of $5.2bn.
The bank announced thousands of job cuts in June, along with asset sales, as part of cost-cutting measures to improve returns to shareholders.
“The fines going away, lower costs – that’s the banking story of the moment,” Peter Hahn from Cass Business School told BBC News.
HSBC has been speeding up the sale of loss-making businesses and sold its operations in Brazil in August.