French banks see European loans decline

30 November 2011

Major French banks have seen their underwriting European loans slip this year as uncertainty remains over the country's economic strength.

That is according to figures collated by Bloomberg, the nation's three largest financiers - BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale - have witnessed their combined share of the $933 billion in syndicated lending on the continent decline from 16 per cent to 14.9 per cent in 2011.

This represents their lowest figure since 2006 and is largely down to the fact they emerged stronger than their counterparts following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 and are now handing these gains back.

Jacques-Pascal Porta of Ofi Geston Privee told the news source: "French banks benefitted from the post-Lehman fragility of US and UK banks, but now they've been knocked down by the eurozone's weakness."

Earlier this month, both BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole posted figures showing their profits declined in the third quarter of the year.

By Gary Cooper

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