French bank Credit Agricole has posted a 6.5 billion euro full-year loss – the worst since it went public in 2001.
One reason for that was the unexpected decision by French tax authorities to disallow a tax deduction Credit Agricole wanted to take following the sale of its Greek bank – Emporiki.
The shock tax bill was just the latest blow for the bank which has spent the last year grappling with the legacy of ill-fated expansions into Italy, Spain and Greece.
“In 2012, we turned the page and profoundly transformed the group,” Chief Executive Jean-Paul Chifflet said. “Leaving Greece cost us dearly but it was a necessary decision.”
Looking to the future, finance head Bernard Delpit said Credit Agricole, which has also been shrinking its investment division and refocusing on high street banking in France, expects to achieve a “significantly positive” result this year.