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


General Inspection: tradition alongside modernity

Since its founding in 1868, the General Inspection Department has constantly adapted its methods and positioning within the Group, while overseeing its primary task of control.
Overview of a body of expertise that is both steeped in tradition and forward-looking

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The Trocadéro complex: Societe Generale builds its own “Fort Knox”

The major construction work undertaken by Societe Generale during the golden years of France’s “Belle Époque” was prompted by new requirements for greater security. Completed in 1914, the Trocadéro complex that housed the bank’s central securities deposit is one of the most impressive examples of the work carried out and an ambitious monument to maximum security.

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In memoriam: Societe Generale's heroes of the Great War

Summer 1914. Amidst a widespread show of patriotism, France goes to war. Over the next four years, nearly two-thirds of Societe Generale's staff were called to arms, where an unexpected and deadly experience awaited them.

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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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Vivier Commercial: A Premium Training Programme

In autumn 1967, Societe Generale’s management created “Vivier Commercial", an intensive training course focused on medium- and long-term financing. This training programme quickly became a banking centre benchmark and would also become a remarkable opportunity to intermix professional backgrounds and skills.

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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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