Since the beginning of the week there have been all kind of rumours regarding the eurozone and France. Competent authorities made clear that they were unfouded. In particular, Standard and Poors, Moody's and Fitch have successively indicated that rumours regarding a possible downgrade of France 's AAA rating were unfounded.
In the same vein, various rumours have circulated on french banks. On this issue, the governor of the Banque de France has just underlined their "financial stability and their capacity for resistance, as shown since the beginning of the crisis." He said the banks "confirmed their financial solidity" when they announced their financial results for the first half of 2011, and that this was "thanks to rigorous risk management and a universal-banking model based on diversified activities." He also said that the "capital levels, supported by very strong levels of equity, are adequate, and that medium- and long-term financing programmes are being undertaken in conditions that are quite satisfactory."
Regarding BNP Paribas, thanks to its strong and recurrent profit-generating capacity which is based on a diversified economic model and rigorous risk management, solvency ratios have been reinforced with each passing quarter to reach a Common Equity Tier 1 of 9.6% as at 30 June 2011. Its pre-tax profit for the first half was EUR 7.4 billion, as published on 2nd of August, and its after-tax profit was EUR 4.7 billion, and this includes Greek debt provisions following the 21 July agreement. The bank's post-tax ROE for the first half was 13.8%, one of the highest among banks in the western world.
About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas (www.bnpparibas.com) is one of the strongest banks in the world*. The Group has a presence in more than 80 countries and more than 200,000 employees, including more than 160,000 in Europe. It ranks highly in its three core activities: Retail Banking, Investment Solutions and Corporate & Investment Banking. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail banking model across the Europe-Mediterranean zone and boasts a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Investment Banking and Investment Solutions activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas and solid and fast-growing businesses in Asia.
* Rated AA by Standard & Poor's i.e. 3rd rating level on a scale of 22.