SocGen chief seeks deals amid reforms

SOCIETE G&eacute;n&eacute;rale (SocGen) is on the lookout for a large-scale acquisition in private banking, chief executive Fr&eacute;d&eacute;ric Oud&eacute;a said yesterday, as he warned that the landscape in the financial sector is set to change immeasurably with new capital requirements.<br /><br />SocGen&rsquo;s chief executive of private banking Daniel Truchi signalled a major acquisition, saying that the unit was ready to make a &ldquo;quantum leap&rdquo; if the opportunity arose.<br /><br />But despite the group&rsquo;s appetite for acquisitions, Oud&eacute;a warned that banks would have to keep a close eye on this week&rsquo;s G20 summit in Pittsburgh.<br /><br />Regulators were bound to enforce higher capital requirements for banks he said, adding that many banks would be forced to sell assets as a result.<br /><br />&ldquo;Fundamentally, we need to wait for the G20 and see where they want to go and we will then make an adequate decision on the best way to raise capital.&rdquo;<br /><br />He warned against measures such as a leverage ratio cap, but said that banks were broadly in agreement that higher capital levels needed to be set, particularly against capital market activities.<br /><br />However, he insisted there was no need to hold higher regulatory capital against standard lending. Oud&eacute;a said he was not concerned about the possibility of the French government creating a harsh regulatory environment, where SocGen would be at a disadvantage in recruiting talent. <br /><br />But Oud&eacute;a said SocGen would continue to be able to attract talented people to the bank.