AP News

BNP Paribas sees profit slump in 4th quarter

PARIS (AP) — BNP Paribas says its earnings slumped 33 percent in the fourth quarter as the cost of provisioning a risky loan in its investment banking division weighed on the bank's profits.

The Paris-based bank reported net profit of €514 million ($693 million) for the October-December quarter, down from €765 million a year earlier.

In a statement Thursday BNP Paribas says its cost of risk climbed in the fourth quarter as it was forced to set aside €345 million in provisions for "one specific loan" in investment banking as well as its personal finance branch.

The bank also announced a cost-cutting drive aimed at squeezing savings of €2 billion annually from 2015. About half of the savings are to come from its retail banking division, and another third from investment banking.

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