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. It is also reflected in the Group's real estate, an inheritance that is continually enriched and renewed.
Breakthroughs include financing international trade for French export companies since the 19th century; developing buyer credit and currency hedging; opening the first integrated professional school in the early 1920s; the first lease financing in the 1970s with Sogebail and new financial instruments in the 1980s with equity derivatives. Societe Generale was also at the forefront of online services with Logitel during the era of the Minitel (the French Videotex system), with French stock market information leader Boursorama in the late 1990s and with mobile apps today. Societe Generale has been a forerunner for its customers throughout its history.
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.
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.
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.
The Nice heist, 1976: Spaggiari and the "sewer gang"
Pioneer in online banking
Permanent bank identification details: invented by Societe Generale
SOGINNOVE: an innovation to help innovative enterprises
Innovation at Societe Generale: a long history
The first sites in sub-Saharan Africa: an architectural genius behind the Bank in Abidjan
Innovative layouts to benefit customers: drive-in branches
The Bank and Art Nouveau
A model of modern banking architecture
1990s : towards a new visual identity
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A long entrepreneurial adventure alongside fellow entrepreneurs. 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.
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.
Created in 2005, the Historical Mission works to perpetuate and enhance the Group’s heritage.