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

Permanent bank identification details: invented by Societe Generale

In the summer of 1999, Societe Generale introduced the concept of assigning its customers permanent bank identification details, an innovative tool designed to foster customer loyalty across the France network, and a reflection of its technical know-how.

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"Skedaddle!" The Bonnot Gang targets Societe Generale

In the Belle Époque era, the Bonnot Gang terrorised France. They were the instigators of a grim crime spree, now consigned to history, during which Societe Generale was targeted twice. A look back at a harrowing moment in our Group's history.

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A special role in the Marshall Plan

In the aftermath of the Second World War, US aid allowed for the recovery of the European economy. Through its New York Office, Societe Generale played an active role in this new flow of business, which led to France's post-war golden age, the "Trente Glorieuses".

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Societe Generale and the Eiffel Tower

Many people are unaware that Societe Generale helped finance the Eiffel Tower. At the end of the 19th century, the bank was already a modern and ambitious company eager to support the great projects of its time.

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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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