SocGen's revivified traders are thriving despite the squeeze
SocGen is cutting 947 jobs in Paris before summer and people there are not happy. But SocGen's traders have gone through the dark days of winter and are out the other side. However, they are not as cosy as they were before.
Today's results from the French bank reveal that SocGen's equities sales and trading revenues fell 3% last year compared to 2022. Its fixed income sales and trading revenues fell by 6.5%. The fixed income performance compared favourably to the 11.5% fall in fixed income trading revenues over at BNP Paribas, although BNP's equities traders managed to keep revenues flat.
SocGen's traders were, however, hampered by the bank's decision to quietly withdraw capital from the markets business. Capital allocated to SocGen's combined global markets and investor services division fell nearly 8% last year.
SocGen's equities business has reinvented itself following a surprise €456m loss in 2020. Speaking to International Financing Review, Yann Garnier, head of global markets sales and research at the French bank, said it had lost its soul before rediscovering it by refocusing on institutional clients and reducing its reliance on retail structured products.
Following the 2020 loss, SocGen cut costs in global markets by €450m and said it was prepared to accept a €200m to €250m ongoing reduction in global markets revenues. In fact, revenues seem to have increased: in 2019, global markets and investor services revenues were €5.2bn; in 2023, they were €6.3bn instead.
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