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UniCredit, an IBOS member bank, is planning to merge with Société Générale (SocGen) in a move that would see two of Europe’s big banks join forces, leading the way for an expected round of banking mergers in Europe.

According to sources, Jean-Pierre Mustier, UniCredit’s French chief executive, has been pioneering the idea for several months. Mr Mustier considers SocGen an ideal partner for the Italian lender, highlighting its investment banking and eastern European operations.

For SocGen, one of the main benefits would be gaining a leading position in Italy and Germany, both in retail and corporate banking.

Mr Mustier, who is credited with having turned round UniCredit’s fortunes, has seen the bank’s share price rise 27 per cent since his arrival in the summer of 2016, notwithstanding the giant capital rising and recent Italian political turmoil.

In the Financial Times, Mr Mustier notes that he has always viewed a cross-border deal as essential to the bank’s future strategy.

Read the full article in the Financial Times here, behind a paywall.