French bank BNP Paribas lowers targets after a weak fourth quarter

BNP Paribas Logo

French lender BNP Paribas is not looking to merge with other banks despite some challenges at its corporate and institutional banking arms, its chief financial officer told CNBC Wednesday.

French lender BNP Paribas is not looking to merge with other banks despite some challenges at its corporate and institutional banking arms, its chief financial officer told CNBC Wednesday.

The bank reported full-year net income of 7.53 billion euros ($8.57 billion) for 2018, a 3 percent drop compared to 2017. But that beat analyst estimates who were expecting a figure of 7.43 billion euros for year, according to Refinitiv survey.

Chief Financial Officer Lars Machenil told CNBC's Julianna Tatelbaum that "overall net income held up well, but there was, indeed, the unfavorable market environment in particular at the year end." BNP Paribas reported a net income of 1.44 billion euros for the fourth quarter, compared to 1.42 billion euros during the same period the year before.

New 2020 targets

The bank said that the economic environment in Europe supported outstanding loans, despite low interest rates. However, it lowered its profitability and revenue growth targets for 2020 due to the impact from the market sell-off in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The French bank now hopes to achieve revenue growth of 1.5 percent per year between 2016 and 2020 from its previous 2.5 percent target. It also increased its cost savings target to 3.3 billion euros for 2020, compared to 2.7 billion euros in its initial plan.

Shares fell more than 3 percent as European markets opened on Wednesday morning.

No merger plans

Looking at the different business arms at the bank, corporate and institutional banking saw the weakest performance. Revenues fell 9.4 percent for the year to 2.4 billion euros. Machenil said the bank is pleased with the services it offers clients and that the focus is to optimize the way products are digitalized and distributed.

"So digitalization remains the core, so merging or acquisitions with other banks that is not on the agenda," he said.

Have something to tell us about this article?

JefferiesAnd the Best Place to Work in the global financial markets 2018 is...