Page last updated at 06:51 GMT, Wednesday, 17 February 2010

France's BNP Paribas makes fourth-quarter profit

BNP Paribas logo
BNP, like many banks, needed a bail-out during the crisis

The French bank BNP Paribas has said that it made a profit in the three months to December last year.

The Paris-based bank said net profit was 1.37bn euros ($1.89bn; £1.2bn) having lost an almost identical amount in the same period a year earlier.

For 2009, the bank made total profits of 5.83bn euros - up by 93% from 2008.

BNP Paribas is implementing new bonus policies for its investment bankers which it said reflected a new "willingness to exercise restraint".

"In this new environment, the group intends to promote the need for consistency between the actions of the employees in question and the company's long-term objectives, in particular with regard to risks," the bank added.

The policies - such as deferred bonus payments paid out in shares - mean that its investment banking bonus pool last year as a percentage of its revenues was 27.7%, down from 40% in previous years.

The bank - which was bailed out by the French government at the height of the financial crisis in March 2008 - paid back its 5.1bn euros in state loans and 226m euros in accrued dividend in October.

BNP said that loans to the French economy had increased by 3.7% for 2009 compared to the previous year.

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