SocGen may speed up cost cutting, UBS CEO warns of challenging conditions

Sergio Ermotti Interview Pic

Societe Generale may speed up cost-cutting in activities including corporate and investment banking as harsher regulation bites across the industry, CEO Frederic Oudea said.

“We might even accelerate or increase the amount of savings” at the global-banking and investor-solutions unit, Oudea said Wednesday at a Morgan Stanley conference in London, without providing details.

Bloomberg News reports that the unit, which includes Societe Generale’s corporate and investment bank as well as prime brokerage, asset management and wealth management businesses, makes up 38% of $942m in cost cuts that it plans to achieve in 2017.

In the meantime, Bloomberg also reports that UBS’s wealth management and investment-banking businesses failed to recover in the first quarter as “challenging” conditions continued into this year, Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti said.

“The conditions we noted in our most recent outlook statement have persisted throughout the quarter,” Ermotti said at a conference in London on Wednesday. The bank has a “very tough year-on-year comparative from revenue standpoint of view” at the securities unit, with revenue boosted by equities and currencies in the first quarter of 2015, while market volatility is undermining wealth management, he said.

SocGen May Accelerate Cost-Cutting Plans, CEO Oudea Says

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