Societe Generale confirms it is buying Kleinwort Benson in an effort to boost UK private banking business

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SocGen said the acquisition would "have no significant financial impact on the Societe Generale group" (Source: Getty)

Societe Generale has announced that it is buying the British and Channel Islands wealth management businesses of Kleinwort Benson.

SocGen, one of France's biggest banks, revealed this morning that it had signed a share purchase agreement to acquire 100 per cent of Kleinwort Benson from the Oddo Group, another French financial services company.

The acquisition is still subject to regulatory approvals, but if the deal is completed, Kleinwort Benson will eventually be combined with Societe Generale Private Banking Hambros (SGPB Hambros), SocGen's own private banking business in the UK and Channel Islands.

"This acquisition will bring together two of the most recognised names in private banking, with shared values and a shared heritage in the UK and Channel Islands established through their deep-rooted history here," said Jean-Francois Mazaud, who runs SocGen's private banking business. "It will enable us to leverage on the expertise and strengths of the teams from each business to better serve our clients through the creation of a distinctive industry leader in wealth management."

SocGen said the transaction would "have no significant financial impact on the Societe Generale group".

Hambros was founded as a merchant bank in London in 1839 and was acquired by SocGen in 1998.

Kleinwort Benson claims an even longer history, having been set up in 1786.