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Foreign Exchange

Saxo becomes a bank in France, but cuts elsewhere

Saxo has gained approval from the Banque de France to become a fully licensed French bank.

As a result, it has rebranded Cambiste, the online brokerage it bought in May, as Saxo Banque France. “We are delighted that our partnership with Saxo Bank has reached this stage,” Pierre-Antoine Dusoulier, founder and chief executive of Cambiste says, adding: “France offers a multitude of opportunities in online trading as the appetite among sophisticated French online investors for forex and contracts for differences continues to grow.” 

Meanwhile, Saxo has made 350 of its employees redundant. The bulk of the lay-offs were in its Copenhagen head office, with further significant cuts in London. Among those leaving is Peter Klein, head of the bank’s London operations. Although it has been heavily rumoured for some weeks that Saxo was about to embark on a cost-cutting exercise, the scale of the redundancies, which amount to around one-third of the bank’s workforce, has come as a surprise.

The decision to carry out such a drastic review of its business does not appear to be related to its current levels of profitability. Saxo operating profits before tax for the first six months of 2008 came in at €21.7 million and it says it further benefitted from the market fluctuations in August and September.

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