November 29, 2017 / 1:59 PM / a year ago

France's BPCE targets revenue growth, online banking drive

PARIS (Reuters) - French co-operative lender BPCE expects revenue from retail banking to grow by up to 1.5 percent a year to 2020 and aims to win 630,000 new clients by investing in online services.

BPCE, France’s second-biggest retail lender which owns investment bank Natixis and competes with BNP Paribas, SocGen and Credit Agricole, is betting on higher fee income and cost cuts to boost returns.

It is also seeking to lift BPCE’s revenues to more than 25 billion euros (£22.08 billion) by 2020, from 24 billion in 2016 at a time when low interest rates have been hurting margins.

Around 70 percent of its revenue comes from retail and insurance business, 14 percent from asset and wealth management, and the rest from corporate and investment banking.

The head of Natixis said on Wednesday that it was considering various options for its equity brokerage division.

The profits of the business have been impacted by tough, new regulation, and a source had told Reuters that Natixis was in talks with Oddo over a possible tie-up in equity brokerage.

“We are considering the matter,” said Natixis Chief Executive Laurent Mignon, adding a final decision was due in the coming weeks.

Natixis shares were up 3.2 percent to 6.7 euros at 1311 GMT. The stock has risen around 25 percent so far in 2017, outperforming an 8 percent gain on the STOXX Europe 600 Banks index.

Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by Edmund Blair and Alexander Smith

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