Societe Generale group has a Culture & Conduct programme, led by Ian Fisher, Head of the Culture & Conduct Programme, which aims to build confidence among the Group’s stakeholders, especially its clients, and develop Societe Generale's culture by placing values, leadership quality and behavioural integrity at the very heart of the Group’s transformation.
What is the programme Culture & Conduct
The Culture & Conduct programme aims to ensure the highest standards of service quality, integrity and behaviour.
The overall objective is to make our culture a factor of differentiation, though performance and attractivity of Societe Generale.
With the launch of the Culture & Conduct programme in 2016, Societe Generale sought to go one step further by building on the accomplishments of the last few years to lay the groundwork for a strong culture and accelerate its transformation. This strategic programme aims to build confidence among all its stakeholders, especially its customers, and to develop the Societe Generale culture by placing values, leadership quality and behavioural integrity at the heart of its business conduct and thus achieve the highest standards of service quality, integrity and behaviour.
It is based on the recommendations of the “G30”, an international advisory group on economic and monetary affairs, published in a report entitled “Banking Conduct and Culture – A Call for Sustained and Comprehensive Reform”, which addressed five key themes: development of the perception of culture; governance and responsibilities of the governing bodies; performance management and incentives; staff development and training; and effectiveness of the three lines of defence.
It participates in our Culture of responsibility, restated during our recent Investor Day when stressing that the Group’s ambition is translated into five strategic and operational priorities: “grow; accelerate the transformation of our businesses, particularly in digital; maintain strict cost discipline; complete the refocusing of the Group; and foster a culture of responsibility at every level of the company”.
Over the past several years, Société Générale have taken many internal actions to strengthen its culture and build a common framework of behaviors and business (ERM programme Culture RISK, restatement of the values, leadership model). We now want to go one step further and accelerate the long-term cultural transformation of the Group.
This programme is under the direct authority of General Management and is supervised by the Board of Directors.
The Risk Committee advises the Board of Directors on the overall strategy and the appetite regarding all kinds of risks, both current and future, and assists it when it controls the implementation of this strategy. In that respect it is responsible for reviewing the risks associated with the Group's implementation of the guidelines on social and environmental responsibility and the indicators relating to the Conduct as part of the "Culture & Conduct" programme.
The programme is headed by Ian Fisher*, Head of the Culture & Conduct Programme, member of the Group Management Committee.
Achivements in 2017
In 2017, the main achievements of the Culture & Conduct programme were as follows:
- The establishment of a dedicated team, which reports to General Management and is led by a Programme Director, to provide the Group businesses with a reference framework and support across all the programme components;
- The formalisation of the distribution of roles and responsibilities between the Culture & Conduct programme, centrally, and the heads of the Business and Service Units;
- The formalisation of a three-year action plan;
- The promotion of the challenges and priorities of the Culture & Conduct Programme among employees;
- The updating (in 2016) of the Code of Conduct in 2016 and the preparation of Group-wide action for its dissemination and assimilation;
- Strengthening the process for mandatory training in order to improve the management of training required by law;
- Raising awareness of the Culture & Conduct challenges among senior executives (top 300).
Prorities for 2018
It is a priority for the Group, whose main objectives in 2018 are, for each of its businesses, to:
- Ensure that all employees adopt the Group’s Code of Conduct which forms the basis of Societe Generale’s business ethics and promotes responsible business conduct. Workshops enabling each employee to assimilate the content of the code and reflect on best practices and on the types of behaviour to be prohibited on a day-to-day basis will be wrapped up in 2018 with an individual process for evaluating all employees’ knowledge and level of assimilation of the Code of Conduct. It is available on the Group’s website;
- Implement a system for managing the conduct risk specific to Societe Generale, including a definition and a detailed typology of the different categories of conduct risk, as well as the development of a methodology for assessing conduct risk for each business. On those grounds, an initial assessment of the main conduct risks will be undertaken during the year in certain businesses;
- Measure progress on culture & conduct, through the establishment of dedicated indicators; increase visibility of the main conduct risks in our business lines; and identify the action plans required to improve management of these risks;
- Continue to further align the key human resources management processes with the Group’s culture & conduct goals by building on its values and the Leadership Model.
Objective: 100% appropriation of the Code of Conduct by our staff.
Group disciplinary principles
Since 2015, the Group’s disciplinary principles have been presented to the members of its various management committees. In 2016, a shadow reporting exercise was carried out within the Global Banking and Investor Solutions scope to serve as the basis for future deployment throughout all Group entities.
For 2018, the Culture & Conduct Programme, through continued work on the management culture, aims to increase awareness and assist managers and the HR function to establish appropriate disciplinary measures.
Societe Generale group is strengthening its set-up for recording and processing alerts. The new mechanism, in compliance with the obligations defined by French legislation, allows staff to report serious matters that do not comply with the rules governing the conduct of the Group’s activities. Open to staff, external and temporary members of staff or service providers with whom an established commercial relationship exists (subcontractors or suppliers), it is based on a secure external platform that guarantees the protection of personal data and the strict confidentiality of information. It is accessible in French and English via the link below. The multilingual version will be deployed during 2019.
A reminder of the terms and conditions can be found in the GROUP’S CODE OF CONDUCT.