Our history

A long and wonderful history of entrepreneurs

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. 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

A long entrepreneurial adventure serving fellow entrepreneurs. Ever since its establishment in 1864, Societe Generale has been grounded in the economy and has fully embraced its role of supporting companies at key stages of their development.

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Innovation spirit

The spirit of innovation spans all the bank's activities. It accompanies economic development, the growth of financial systems and banking services penetration and the expansion of companies that Societe Generale supports.

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Team spirit

Our collective strength affords us an exceptional ability to motivate our teams. Fifty years ago, our chairman Maurice Lorain could already state: "Societe Generale's main virtue was, is, and must remain, its team spirit!" Our DNA is an asset that we use to reinvent our businesses, by predicting future changes in the world we live in. We want to make Societe Generale THE banking business of the 21st century.

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Societe Generale turned 150 years old. And how old are you?

A fun digital journey, via 50 surprising and unusual objects, to help you discover Societe Generale’s history from 1864 to the present day: from Societe Generale’s founders to the Bank 2.0, including world fairs, the development of the banking network in France and abroad, changes in banking techniques, architecture, the introduction of the euro, etc.


Over the years

Browse our images and relive the key events of Societe Generale's 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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