Western Europe’s best bank 2023: BNP Paribas
With retail banking operations in Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg, BNP Paribas is the clear leader among a very small handful of European banks that have grown beyond being national champions in their home markets to serve personal customers across the continent.
That brings the challenges of achieving scale efficiency that few rival management teams are willing to take on. But it also adds some diversification to the risks the group carries on its balance sheet, as well as to its earnings.
For example, in Belgium, BNP Paribas Fortis was able to fully integrate bpost banque in 2022, having previously offered its services to post office customers through a joint venture. That saw big growth in both loans and deposits in Belgium and a 9% increase in annual profit there.
In 2022, the bank overall grew group revenues ahead of costs and, even after taking a hit from various exceptional items, still reported net income 7.5%