SociéTé Générale

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SociéTé Générale


(full name, Société Générale Pour Favoriser le Développement du Commerce et de I’Industrie en France), one of the three largest commercial banks of France. Founded in 1864 by an international syndicate headed by the banker Rothschild as a joint-stock company with its administrative center in Paris. The members of the syndicate included, in addition to representatives of the French financial olicharchy, important bankers from Belgium, Germany, Holland, and Switzerland.

Until the law of 1945 regulating banking business in France and dividing banks into commercial (deposit) and business (investment) banks, the Société Générale was a bank with diversified activities. On Jan. 1, 1946, it was nationalized, and the former stockholders were issued inscribed bonds paying yearly dividends. The bonds are amortizable over a period of 50 years, beginning in 1947.

The Société Générale performs all the operations of a deposit bank, its main operation being the issue of loans for foreign trade. In 1971 it had more than 1,800 branches in France and abroad and offices in the United States and Great Britain and was represented in Italy, the Federal Republic of Germany, Japan, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Tunisia, and Indonesia. It also has subsidiary banks in France, Belgium, Spain, and Argentina. In Lebanon and in several African states, including the Ivory Coast, the Malagasy Republic, Tunisia, the Central African Republic, the People’s Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Cameroon, Morocco, and Mauritania, it operates jointly with a number of banks set up as its branches. It also has joint operations with many French and international financial companies. Its fixed capital and reserves are 650 million French francs, and its total balance is 46.7 billion French francs. On Jan. 1, 1971, its deposits amounted to 38.9 billion, the total of its discount loans to 35.7 billion, and its cash and current accounts to 5.4 billion francs.


References in periodicals archive ?
The operational management of the company following this will be transferred to Sogecap, the French life-insurance company of the SocGen group.
In May, SocGen announced E900m of cost-cutting reductions over the next two years in a bid to regain profitability.
In 1997, SocGen embarked on an acquisition spree in order to expand its retail banking in France and outside France.
For example, when SocGen discovered rogue trader Jerome Kerviel's massive and unauthorized market bets in January 2008, it booked related losses on its 2007 accounts.
Speculation began in 2009 that the two banks might at some stage proceed towards a full merger, although in October, both SocGen and Agricole denied this was the case.
SocGen had issued ODIs to its subscriber Hythe without ascertaining whether it was a regulated entity.
A trader in London said Ambac insured the collateral debt obligation business of SocGen.
They claim the SocGen only encountered losses when it tried to wind up Kerviel's investments.
SocGen revealed plans for the capital increase on January 24 when it unveiled 4.
All banks have started to ask themselves whether it could happen to them and are looking again at their risk management systems after SocGen last week disclosed an equity derivative loss of pounds 3.
A finance ministry report yesterday stated explicitly it was not seeking to apportion blame for what had happened but was merciless in its exposure of shortcomings at SocGen, saying sophisticated risk control procedures were useless if "human factors" were ignored.
Prosecutors will not question Kerviel until documents obtained from SocGen are analysed.