SOCIETE Générale (SocGen) is on the lookout for a large-scale acquisition in private banking, chief executive Frédéric Oudéa said yesterday, as he warned that the landscape in the financial sector is set to change immeasurably with new capital requirements.
SocGen’s chief executive of private banking Daniel Truchi signalled a major acquisition, saying that the unit was ready to make a “quantum leap” if the opportunity arose.
But despite the group’s appetite for acquisitions, Oudéa warned that banks would have to keep a close eye on this week’s G20 summit in Pittsburgh.
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.
“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.”
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.
However, he insisted there was no need to hold higher regulatory capital against standard lending. Oudéa 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.
But Oudéa said SocGen would continue to be able to attract talented people to the bank.