SocGen today reported a higher-than-expected quarterly net income, amid a top management reshuffle happening in the middle of discussions with the US authorities over litigation issues.
The reshuffle came yesterday evening with SocGen's board announcing the re-appointment of chief executive Frederic Oudea for a new four-year term.
It arrived several weeks after the departure of a deputy chief executive in charge of investment banking operations.
SocGen reported a 14% rise in first-quarter net income to €850m, that came above analysts' estimates of €821m, according to a Reuters poll of five analysts.
"The results are generally in line with our strategic ambitions," chief executive Frederic Oudea said in a statement.
"With a renewed General Management team, the group is more confident than ever of its ability to successfully implement all the current transformation projects and meet its strategic and financial objectives," added Oudea.
The bank also kept litigation provisions stable at €2.3 billion and said a final agreement with relevant authorities was expected in the coming days or weeks.
It expected monetary penalties to be in line with provisions allocated to a case about alleged rigging of the Libor market and to an investigation into potential corruption violations in connection with transactions involving the Libyan Investment Authority.
Nevertheless, SocGen's quarterly revenue came in weaker than expected, as they fell 2.8% to €6.29 billion, compared to €6.48 billion seen by the analysts.
Its corporate and investment bank was a weak spot with revenue down 13.4% and net income falling 56.9%, impacted by a "strong negative forex effect".
Its equity trading also declined despite a broad improvement in this area across other international banks.
SocGen said this "this lower performance in relation to the industry can be attributed to our business mix, which is more geared towards structured products, and our geographical mix, which is more focused on Europe".
Following the reshuffle, Severin Cabannes, previously in charge of control functions, will overview SocGen's investment bank.
Under its new three-year plan, SocGen aims to improve the return on net equity at its investment banking arm to 14% from 10.8% it had in 2017, when revenues fell on the back of low market volatility.
SocGen's French retail banking revenues were on path to stabilisation, down 0.7% over the period.