PARIS (Reuters) - Cross-border bank mergers in Europe at the moment offer insufficient synergies between retail markets, Societe Generale Chief Executive Frederic Oudea said on Thursday.
France’s third-biggest bank recently denied rumors about a potential tie-up with Italy’s Unicredit (CRDI.MI).
“I don’t believe at all that we are currently in a situation to see cross-border mergers because the environment still is not that clear,” Oudea told a Goldman Sachs investor conference on Thursday, according to a transcript of his speech by Thomson Reuters StreetEvents.
“I don’t believe today you have very significant synergies between retail activities in different markets,” Oudea said.
“And really, I think, it’s not the priority. For us, the priority is to deliver our business plan”.
Oudea reiterated, however, that there were too many banks in Europe and that over the long term a reshuffle was needed.
In the current environment, he said, domestic retail consolidation was the most obvious option.
Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva; editing by Leigh Thomas and Jason Neely