CH bank BNP Paribas made a 1.37bn euros (£1.2bn) profit in the three months to December last year.
The lender recorded a loss of almost the amount in the equivalent period the year before.
BNP Paribas made total profits of 5.83bn euros for the whole of 2009 – up by 93 per cent from 2008.
It emphasized its “willingness to exercise restraint” in the light of the global financial crisis and the furore over bankers’ bonuses.
The bank said in a statement: “In this new environment, the group intends to promote the need for consistency between the actions of the employees in question and the company's long-term objectives, in particular with regard to risks.”
It is deferring some bonuses and giving them as shares in an attempt to curtail excessive risk-taking.
Its investment banking bonus pool last year as a percentage of its revenues was 27.7 per cent.
In other years it has been at a level of 40 per cent.
The bank was thrown a lifeline by the French government at the height of the financial crisis in March 2008.
It has since paid back paid back its 5.1bn euros in state loans.