BNP Paribas Group posted net income of nearly €1.9bn in the third quarter, or 2.3% less than a year ago, thus beating the consensus of analysts who had expected €1.5bn.
With corporate and investment banking acting as the driving force, revenues rose 17% and fixed-income trading revenue jumped 36%.
Like its American peers or Deutsche Bank, BNP saw a surge in market activities and the financing of large companies during the quarter.
Revenues from branch operations jumped by more than 17% over one year to €3.37bn, for a pre-tax profit of €955m (+ 14.6% over one year).
in the first nine months, net income was down by 13.4%, running ahead of its full-year profit guidance of -15%-20% which the bank did not change.
“BNP Paribas demonstrates its high resilience thanks to its financial solidity, its diversification, and the power of execution of its platforms,” chief executive Jean-Laurent Bonnafe said in a statement.
The bank’s provisions for bad loans rose 47% year-on-year to €1.24bn. Still, this was lower than in the second quarter, and lower than analysts had predicted.
The French international banking group is the world’s 8th largest bank by total assets, and currently operates with a presence in 72 countries. However, its €2.6trl balance sheet is mostly exposed to Europe.
BNP said the economic recovery was gradual in the third quarter with momentum differing from one region or sector to another.
Like other European banks, BNP is struggling with low interest rates, which cuts into income from lending.
In December, the European Central Bank is expected to revisit its recommendation for euro zone banks not to pay dividends.
Meanwhile, the group has announced its willingness to pay dividends for 2020.
Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron has announced a second national lockdown until at least the end of November.