Profit fell more than 50% at France's biggest bank

It’s tough being a big investment bank at the moment.

Profit at BNP Paribas, France’s biggest bank, fell 52% in the fourth quarter.

Income fell to €665 million (£511 million) from more than €1 billion a year earlier.

The bank had to write-down the value of assets at BNL its Italian unit and took a hit in its investment banking division as costs increased.

Like almost all the other big European bank, BNP Paribas is restructuring, and is planning to save up to a billion euros by scaling back its investment bank and boosting its wealth management divisions.

Tough rules on how banks must plan for losses on their assets, combined with anemic global growth and low interest rates have made traditional investment banking business models non-viable.

Credit Suisse said it will accelerate its cost-cutting programme — read job cuts — on Thursday after posting its first annual loss since 2008. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank is struggling with the same problems and last month posted a huge €6.8 billion (£5.1 billion) loss for 2015.

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