HSBC today reported profits more than doubled in 2010 to $19bn (€13.7bn), with every region in the black for the first time since 2006.
The banking giant's result marks a sharp rise on the $7.1bn posted in 2009 as it continues to benefit from lower bad debt losses.
But HSBC's new chairman Douglas Flint said the group will "not forget" the financial crisis and support from governments around the world, adding the group entered 2011 "with humility".
HSBC revealed that new chief executive Stuart Gulliver - formerly head of the investment bank - was awarded a £5.2m bonus for 2010, taking his total package for the year to £6.2m.
The bank's former boss Michael Geoghegan - who stepped down as chief executive on December 31 - picked up a £3.8m bonus and a total package of £5.8m for the year.
He will continue to work for the group until he retires on March 31, and will be paid more than £1.4m in pay and pension this year.
Mr Geoghegan is also entitled to £200,000 for three months' consultancy work after he retires, although he will donate this to charity.
The group confirmed Mr Gulliver will take his 2010 annual bonus in deferred shares.
HSBC said Mr Gulliver's bonus reflects "strong achievements" in his former role, despite seeing a slight drop in profits in his division.