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SocGen Spins Off Belgian Private Bank

Tom Burroughes Group Editor London 31 July 2018

SocGen Spins Off Belgian Private Bank

The private banking operation is being sold to ABN AMRO.

Societe Generale has agreed to sell its Belgian private banking arm to ABN AMRO, a move mirroring the French bank’s move to spin off its Asian private bank about four years ago.

Netherlands-headquartered ABN AMRO said the deal will approximately double its Belgian private banking assets to €12 billion ($14.1 billion), according to a statement issued late yesterday. 

The purchase price for the business wasn’t disclosed. Shares in ABN AMRO close up 0.9 per cent yesterday at €23.57 per share. Shares in the French bank finished the day at €37.42, up about 0.5 per cent.

"This acquisition is an important milestone in our ambitious growth journey in Belgium. We are convinced that together we can further build on our strong private banking proposition in Belgium,” Solange Rouschop, the chief executive of ABN AMRO’s private bank in Belgium said.

The planned transaction is subject to approval by the relevant regulatory and merger control authorities. Closing of the transaction is expected in the first three months of 2019 and is estimated to have a minor impact on its CET1 capital ratio, a standard measure of a bank’s capital buffer.

European banks are reshuffling their business focus. While Societe Generale and ABN AMRO have both retreated from the Asian private banking market because of insufficient profitability, there has also been some changes in their core markets. ABN AMRO, bought German private bank Bethmann Bank from Credit Suisse at the end of 2013.


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