Mixed results from the financial sector as France’s largest bank BNP Paribas announced its fourth straight quarterly profit while the Dutch banking and insurance group ING posted a much worse than expected loss.
BNP Paribas said earnings were higher at its investment banking arm and recently acquired Fortis retail bank.
In addition it said it was not having to put aside as much money to cover loan defaults.
BNP’s net profit in the final three months of last year was 1.37 billion euros.
By contrast ING lost 712 million euros, though that was a huge improvement on the 3.7 billion euro loss in the same period a year earlier.
Nearly one billion euros of ING’s losses still had the stink of subprime about them, being linked to mortgage-backed securities and falling property values.
But ING also had to pay back five billion euros in bailout money from the Dutch government, plus penalties.