PARIS (Reuters) -BNP Paribas, France’s largest bank, on Wednesday said it will step up its 2022-2025 cost-cutting plan after it reported weak results for the fourth quarter last month.

The bank intends to increase its efficiency gains by a recurring 400 million euros ($437.08 million), pushing its cost-cutting goals over the 2022-2025 period up to 2.7 billion euros.

BNP Paribas also said the payout dividend ratio of 60% in 2024, 2025 and 2026 would represent about 20 billion euros payment for shareholders.

Last month, BNP Paribas reported a surprise drop in fourth-quarter income and pushed back a key profitability target, triggering a more than 9% fall in the French bank’s shares.

Revenues at its investment bank, as well as at its consumer and commercial real estate businesses, fell from 2023 and its Chief Executive Jean-Laurent Bonnafe said the outlook was not good as he expected an economic slowdown in the euro zone.

Additionally, the bank confirmed on Wednesday its net profit would rise this year compared with 2023 and reiterated it will not hit its target for return on tangible equity (ROTE) – a measure of profitability – of 12% target until 2026.

($1 = 0.9152 euros)

(Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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