Feb. 20 - Credit Agricole posts a 6.5 billion-euro ($8.68 billion) full-year loss - the worst since the French bank went public in 2001 - as taxes on the sale of its Greek unit pushed the bank deeper than expected into the red. Hayley Platt reports.
6.5 billion euros is today's daily digit - the full year loss at Credit Agricole. It's the worst result since the French bank went public 11 years ago. And taxes on the sale of its Greek unit Emporiki were partly to blame. The French authorities disallowed a tax deduction the bank was seeking leaving France's third biggest lender with a tax hit of almost 840m euro. That pushed fourth quarter write downs to more than four and half billion. The shock bill was just the latest blow for the 119-year old bank which is controlled by regional lenders and operates like a co-operative. It's spent the last year dealing with problems connected with ill-fated expansion in Italy, Spain and Greece. Like many other European banks it's also been trying to shrink its investment arm and refocus on domestic retail banking. It's expected to announce a new three-year business plan in the autumn and they'll no dividend for 2012.