150 years of history

A long and wonderful history of entrepreneurs

Societe Generale is celebrating its 150th anniversary. Our history is not just about the past, it is also about what we are today and what we want to be in the future.

It's a story that goes to the roots of our identity: our founders' entrepreneurial spirit, innovation spirit and team spirit are what drive us to continue their journey with the same entrepreneurial energy.

Our history is first and foremost a great journey of entrepreneurs serving other entrepreneurs. Founded by a group of industrialists and financiers driven by the ideals of progress, Societe Generale's mission has always been "fostering business and industrial growth."

Over the course of history, Societe Generale has shown it can stay true to its values while continually reinventing itself for the changing needs of its time. This is what we are focusing on for our 150th anniversary. By tracing our roots, we look to the future with the humility of those who have made it through the hard times and the optimism of those who will always be guided by entrepreneurial spirit, making Societe Generale the bank of the 21st century.

Entrepreneurial spirit
Innovation spirit
Team spirit

Professions from the past: Branch personnel from 1864 to the start of the 1950s

Depending on their size, location and volume of business, Societe Generale branches employed varying numbers of staff with varying levels of qualifications. However their make-up was essentially the same. We look back on the positions and working methods that were part of the Group’s success story for close to a century.

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In shapes and colours: a history of Societe Generale's visual identity

From its first monograms to the red and black square, passing via the Pasquier logo, Societe Generale's visual identity has evolved over time in response to ever changing requirements in terms of communication and visibility. The following is a look back at how this strong symbol of the Group's identity was formed.

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Jean Bouin, a dream cut short

September 1914. An icon of the Belle Epoque, Jean Bouin joined the front in Lorraine. The Olympic medallist and member of the Societe Generale Athletics Club (CASG) had a date with destiny. Here's a look back at an athlete who left his mark on French sport.

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The Central Branch: a “banking palace” of the Belle Époque

At No. 29 Boulevard Haussmann, right in the centre of Paris, can be found the building which has served as the Group’s headquarters for the past century. A true architectural masterpiece, certain parts of which are now featured in the list of Historic Monuments.

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The official rugby bank: a historic commitment

In 1987, Societe Generale became the official "rugby bank". This partnership means that today the bank can display its colours right on the goalposts and link its values to those of the sport. It is a commitment that has not come about by happenstance: its roots reach back to the beginning of the last century.

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Over the years

Browse our images and relive the key events of Societe Generale's 150-year history.


Societe Generale advertising posters, 1864 / 2014

  • 1932,

    © Anonymous / Imp. Chaix. Societe Generale's Historical Archives

    Since it was founded, Societe Generale has always contributed to the development of railways, in line with the desires of its founders who were leading industrialists.

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  • 1987,

    © G. Lavallière / Studio Bruno Hulin. IGT Paris. Societe Generale's Historical Archives

    When data communications technology began to develop, the bank innovated by offering its customers home banking services. Help using its new tools was provided through the organisation of open days. The Minitel (a French Videotex online service) was a forerunner of the potential services subsequently available via internet.

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