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€6.5billion losses at Crédit Agricole

The bank has confirmed historic losses, even larger than predicted at the start of the month

CREDIT Agricole, France’s largest retail bank, has confirmed the greatest losses of its history - €6.5billion in 2012.

The figure is even higher than was predicted, though losses of around €6 billion have been expected since the start of the month.

Crédit Agricole says it is embarking on measures that will make savings of €650million over three years and it will present a strategic plan in the autumn.

Last year was marked by a series of large expenses for the bank, including €3.98 billion of exceptional charges (debits) in the fourth quarter (as opposed to the €3.8bn forecast), linked to lowering in value of acquisitions made before the economic crisis, including operations in Portugal and Italy and its sale at a loss of Greek bank Emporiki.

The losses relate to Crédit Agricole SA, the bank as listed nationally on the stock-exchange, which also recorded losses in 2011, of €1.47billion. However, in 2011 the Crédit Agricole group as a whole, including all activities of its regional branches, showed a profit while this year it made overall losses of €3.8billion.

There will be no shareholder dividends.

The bank says the losses do not affect its financial solidity because of its substantial assets.

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