Don't be afraid, recovery takes time: Soc Gen CEO

Wednesday, 4 Sep 2013 | 11:48 AM ET
SocGen CEO: Europe still needs reforms
Wednesday, 4 Sep 2013 | 11:20 AM ET
Frederic Oudéa, CEO of Societe Generale, says that despite stabilizing, Europe still needs structural reforms.

Frederic Oudea, the CEO of Societe Generale, told CNBC that people were "too afraid" about the economic situation in France and Europe, and reassured them that stabilization was taking place over time.

At a banking conference in Frankfurt, Oudea said he was confident about France's financial stability.

"I think maybe people are a bit too afraid," he said. "We see signs of stabilization…it goes beyond just (the) global figures we've seen in the second quarter, we feel with our clients a stabilization, a slight improvement."

(Read more: Societe Generale profit more than doubles)

Oudea added that there was room for improvement, but people had to be patient. "To have better growth for France and Europe as a whole we still need certain structural reforms and it will take some time," he said.

Oudea praised the work done by euro zone countries to improve the economic picture and said he did not expect there to be another flare up in the region. He said it was vital however that the European banking union was implemented, as it would help to rebuild confidence.

"I remain more optimistic," Oudea said. "Volatility can happen, (but) we should carry on getting the benefits of what's going on." He added that it was very important there was "new momentum" after the German national elections this month.

(Read more: SocGen Reshuffles Executive Team After Loss)

At the beginning of August, SocGen reported that its second quarter earnings had more than doubled from the year before, despite tough conditions in Europe. Quarterly net profit came in at 955 million euros ($1.26 billion), above a Reuters consensus of 703 million euros.

Oudea told the Frankfurt conference that large banks were still needed to maintain Europe's capacity to finance large companies and its infrastructure.

"Scale matters. I believe that we need players which are able to tell the credit story of European companies or governments," Oudea said.

Oudea added that he wanted SocGen to have a strong future presence in Europe, but with presence in the U.S. and China as well.

(Read more: Hollande Unveils Softened French Bank Reform)


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