Societe Generale and Credit Agricole have agreed an asset swap in derivatives brokers Newedge Group and Amundi Group.
Credit Agricole plans to increase its share in Amundi to 80 per cent from 75 per cent, while SocGen intends to purchase Credit Agricole's 50 per cent stake in Newedge. The purchase would make SocGen the sole owner of the firm.
Speaking to Bloomberg television, deputy chief executive officer Severin Cabannes said exclusive ownership of Newedge would "offer us an opportunity to grow our fixed-income activities, our geographical footprint and to develop new synergies."
The announcement comes alongside both banks' third quarter results. Societe Generale posted third quarter net income of £449m while Credit Agricole posted a profit of £612m.
The results were below what had been expected, with analysts predicting profits of £657m for SocGen and £406m for Credit Agricole. Strong third-quarter results from BNP Paribas had also driven expectations higher for the two French banks.