HSBC just missed analysts' expectations with a near $22 billion (13 billion pound) profit last year, which marked the biggest profit among western banks thanks to its strength in Asia and other emerging markets.

HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, on Monday reported 2011 profits of $21.9 billion, up 15 percent on the year but just below the average forecast of $22.2 billion from 13 analysts polled by Reuters. The profit included $3.9 billion of gains on the value of its own debt.

Profits at its investment bank were down 24 percent on 2010 at $7 billion, hurt as the euro zone debt crisis slowed capital markets activity in the second half of last year.

CEO Stuart Gulliver is reshaping HSBC to cut annual costs by $3.5 billion, lift profitability and sharpen its focus on Asia, and said he will step up the execution of his plan this year.

(Reporting by Steve Slater; Editing by David Holmes)