November 15, 2017 / 5:32 PM / a year ago

INTERVIEW-BNP Paribas to bolster Nordic teams, eyes corporate European assets

PARIS, Nov 15 (Reuters) - BNP Paribas plans to bolster its banking teams in the Nordic region and would consider buying corporate banking portfolios if offered up by European rivals, an executive said.

The French bank wants to expand in Germany, Britain, the Netherlands and Nordic countries and aims to gain corporate clients and grow market share. BNP’s corporate and institutional banking business now accounts for about a third of its revenues.

“We are not ruling out purchasing business portfolios that our competitors put up (for sale),” Yannick Jung, BNP’s head of corporate clients financing and advisory for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, told Reuters.

BNP has previously bought equity derivatives portfolios from Credit Suisse, Credit Agricole CIB and ING , and a transacting banking book from Royal Bank of Scotland.

“If one of our competitors across Europe was to make an RBS-like decision (to sell European assets), we would be the first to raise our hands and to say we are happy to talk,” Jung said.

He said Nordic countries were a focus because they were less well served by European banks than other countries in Europe.

Britain’s state-owned RBS left Nordic nations in 2015 to focus on its domestic market and Deutsche Bank shut its branches in the region, except Stockholm.

“The UK and Germany are key priority markets where we recently made senior appointments. The Nordics are our next priority growth area,” Jung said, adding that BNP wanted to strengthen regional leadership teams in the Nordics.

He said Britain’s planned exit from the European Union had not deterred BNP in its plans to expand there.

“Brexit was actually not any reason for us to re-consider our vision of the UK. The positioning for us is to build a euro zone partner of choice for corporates there,” he said.

BNP has performed better than several regional investment banking peers, earning more fees than Deutsche Bank and Barclays in Europe last year, according to Thomson Reuters data.

$1 = 0.8444 euros Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by Edmund Blair

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