France's largest bank, BNP Paribas, said its profits bounced back in the third quarter after being slammed by exposure to Greek debt last year.

The bank said today that its profits came to €1.3 billion in the third quarter, up dramatically from €541m the same time last year, when it was hit by a huge writedown on Greek debt.

The growth in profits was largely due to strong investment banking activity.

Its investment banking unit CIB registered a 7.3% rise in pre-tax profit to €732m. 

BNP said that despite a "difficult environment" for banks, it has boosted its capital earlier than scheduled under the Basel III rules.

These rules will help to ensure that banks are better able to withstand the kind of financial crises that have hit the sector in recent years.