Crédit Agricole sees its profits explode and follows BNP Paribas

As for BNP Paribas and Société Générale, 2021 was a prosperous year for Crédit Agricole. The banking group has almost doubled its net profit, according to the results published on Thursday, February 10, driven by the good performance of its activity and a decrease in risk costs. These “very good results”, according to Philippe Brassac, CEO of the Crédit Agricole SA group, enable the company to achieve its targets for the end of 2022 one year in advance. Net profit in 2021 reached a record amount of 9.1 billion euros.

In the fourth quarter alone, the bank multiplied by more than four to 2.35 billion euros, more than its competitor BNP Paribas. The group, which unites the regional banks of Crédit Agricole and its other activities in its listed subsidiary Crédit Agricole SA, has been on the heels of the rue d’Antin bank all year, which announced slightly higher profits on Tuesday. annual net income, about 9.5 billion euros.

Net banking income (NBI), the equivalent of the sector’s turnover, amounted to 36.82 billion euros last year, an increase of 9.6% compared to 2020. “These results are excellent and ultimately reflect our commercial results “, welcomes Dominique Lefebvre, chairman of the board of directors of the group, at a press conference.

The bank benefits from the economic recovery

Like other French branches, the mutual bank has taken full advantage of the economic recovery that has started since late 2020, putting the worst health crisis behind it. The regional banks also acquired more than 1.22 million new customers in France, adding 335,000 new customers to LCL, Crédit Agricole SA’s retail network in France.

The improvement in the economic situation led to a sharp fall in the cost of risk, ie the provisions made to deal with possible defaults by its borrowing customers. This cost of risk thus fell by almost 50% last year to EUR 1.849 billion.

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The listed entity Crédit Agricole SA closed the year 2021 with a bang and doubled its fourth quarter revenues by more than ten compared to the same period last year. Over the year 2021, it brought in 5.84 billion euros, above analysts’ forecasts.

Dividend at highest point in more than 15 years

The bank benefited last year from the entry into its business of Italian bank Credito Valtellinese (Creval), acquired through a takeover bid (OPA) launched in November 2020 and completed last April. Its asset management subsidiary, Amundi, also offered Lyxor to Société Générale at the end of the year for an amount of EUR 825 million.

The Crédit Agricole group relies on a “universal local bank” model, offering all the different banking activities while maintaining a strong presence throughout France. It prides itself on being the leading funding body for the French economy, particularly in the renewable energy segment, as well as being the leading private employer in France and the leading tax and social contributor in France.

At the end of this exceptional year, the listed entity announced its intention to pay a dividend of 1.05 euros per share, a level not seen for more than 15 years. A large part of the dividends goes to the regional mutual societies.

“We have more than EUR 7 billion in retained earnings that can of course be reinjected into development, into the economy, into the territories and above all to support an urgent transition that we need to support in our environment,” underlines Philippe Brassac.

Finally, the “hard” capital ratio, the CET1, a key indicator measuring the ability to overcome a potential crisis, rose to 17.5% for the group as a whole, well above regulatory requirements.

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