BNP Paribas without transition between record results and concerns about the workforce

Funny day for BNP Paribas, Tuesday, February 7. Constrained in the morning, due to a demonstration against the pension reform, to replace by a videoconference the presentation of its annual results planned in its historic Parisian premises, BNP Paribas was again upset, a few hours later, several unions denouncing a project workforce reductions in the subsidiary specializing in consumer credit.

Some 921 positions would be affected in France, out of a total of just over 5,000. No forced departure, management committed during a first meeting with staff representatives on Tuesday. About 680 people could benefit from a voluntary departure plan, according to a union source, the rest being offered transfers to other activities of the group. “On paper, it’s very beautiful, but you’ll have to be very careful”, said an employee representative, at the very beginning of this discussion process, which should last at least three months.

BNP Paribas Personal Finance, known to the French mainly through the Cetelem brand, “undertakes the transformation and adaptation of its activities”, summarizes the group, which justifies this evolution by the rapid rise in interest rates, by the pressure exerted by the rate of wear (the maximum rate of loan authorized in France), but also by the evolution of the uses of its customers , that inflation is forcing increasingly frequent budgetary decisions.

“We are not disengaging, we are refocusing”,

This context weighed on the branch’s results in 2022, its pre-tax profit having fallen by 4.6%, to 1.121 billion euros. In the fourth quarter alone, its net banking income (the equivalent of turnover in the sector) fell by 0.9%, to 1.28 billion euros, while its management costs increased by 4, 1% compared to the last three months of 2021.

The reorganization of the division does not only concern France, since it concerns a refocusing on the euro zone, the United Kingdom and the Scandinavian countries, to the detriment of the States in which it has less favorable positions. The Bulgarian subsidiary, for example, was sold at the end of 2022 to Eurobank. This change of model reduces the need for support functions in France, and therefore justifies the planned staff reductions, explains the group led by Jean-Laurent Bonnafé.

Read also: BNP Paribas ends an exceptional year and posts a record profit of 9.5 billion euros in 2021

“We are not disengaging, we are refocusing”, underlined the latter, Tuesday, presenting to financial analysts the annual results in good shape, marked by a net profit up 7.5%, to 10.2 billion euros, the largest ever earned by the group, for net banking income of 50.4 billion (+9%). Performance that allows the first bank in the euro zone to raise its profit growth targets for the period 2023-2025.

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