A key player in financing the economy, our mission is to offer the best solutions to advise and connect individuals, companies and institutions, to guide them in developing their projects, managing their financial means and covering their risks, ensuring a long-term positive impact on the environment that surrounds us, mindful of the different stakeholders in our ecosystem.
Frédéric Oudéa, Chief Executive Officer
Supporting the development of emerging countries and new economic actors
Through its network of subsidiaries the Group actively contributes to the development of the economy in the Group entities’ respective countries, offering employment, supporting the creation and development of businesses, and assisting local authorities with their projects. Its subsidiaries and branches fully assume their social and environmental responsibilities and undertake initiatives supporting progress.
In France, the Group is committed to giving regional support to artisans, entrepreneurs and enterprises of every size throughout their life and business cycle. The Group reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the development of businesses and its mobilisation of resources to support collective efforts to stimulate the European and French economies by launching a special credit offer (launched in September 2014) exclusively for SMEs, micro-enterprises and professionals in France, which promotes investment in France, in its networks (Societe Generale and Crédit du Nord).
To develop a solidarity based banking offer, Societe Generale offers new sustainable and responsible products, encourages its customers to develop a solidarity approach and promote microfinance around the world.
Solidarity products and services in French retail banking
As one of the first banks to develop a range of solidarity products, Societe Generale’s aim is to forge closer links between its customers and social entrepreneurs and accompany its customers in their supportive approach.
Societe Generale Rewarded
In the Profit for Non Profit Awards 2015 organised by the consultancy firm Axylia, Societe Generale’s range of solidarity products and services won the One Million Award. This distinction rewards financial institutions that generate over EUR 1 million in donations per year.
Futhermore, a partnership agreement with SPEAR (Society for Actively Responsible Saving) cooperative certified by Finansol that allows companies or charities wishing to carry out a solidarity project to obtain a bank loan thanks to savers who want to give meaning to their savings..
Solidarity Products and Services in International Retail Banking and Financial Services
Societe Generale’s international retail banking division offers their customers products and services that meet the highest international standards and that are adapted to suit their needs. In seeking out new customers, the foreign networks contribute to the number of banking products and services available to and used by local communities in countries where the level of “financial inclusion” is still relatively low. The innovative products and services they frequently launch on their domestic markets also make them a source of positive competition for clients.
Support microfinance at local level
Beyond its impact in terms of jobs and regional development, Societe Generale has spent several years developing tools and products that contribute to the social cohesion of the communities and regions in which it is present with EUR 105 million in microfinance credit lines.
Societe Generale has chosen to focus its microfinance activities in those countries in which it provides universal banking products and services. It lends its support via its subsidiaries, granting refinancing lines to MFIs (microfinance institutions) in local currency and acquiring minority stakes in MFIs. The MFI partners facilitate access to credit for communities that are unable to open a bank account and, in doing so, feed the local economies.
In France, Societe Generale has been an active supporter of ADIE (French association for the right to economic initiative) since 2006, providing refinancing lines for its microfinance activity in mainland France and the overseas departments and contributing to the financing of its accompanying actions.
What is microfinance?
Societe Generale’s support for ADIE in figures
The Group’s support for this association combines financial assistance and a contribution to the smooth roll-out of ADIE’s actions through:
In 2015, an annual subsidy of EUR 125,000 paid to the association along with an additional EUR 12,000 during “Microcredit Week”
In 2015, a refinancing line for 2,140 personal and professional micro-loans totalling EUR 7.4 million (up EUR 1.8 million compared to 2014)
Positive Impact Finance (PIF)
Societe Generale is one of the pioneers of Positive Impact Finance in the banking word, which is defined as a new way of financing. It is characterised by financing any activity that verifiably produces a positive impact on the economy, society or the environment whilst ensuring that the potential negative impact has been properly identified and managed.
In 2015 positive impact finance transactions amounted to EUR 1.856 billion (versus EUR 958 million in 2014).
Societe Generale and 9 other leading financial intuitions support a United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative* (UNEP-FI). This programme proposes, among other things, a ‘Roadmap' to establishing a new, impact-based and market driven paradigm: Positive Impact Financing
Further information on the
See the full communication
*The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is a unique partnership between UNEP and a global network of over 200 banks, insurers and investors from 51 countries.
Success of the second positive impact bond issue
The issue of this bond continues Societe Generale’s commitments presented at the COP21 environmental summit in Paris in 2015, and all the operational measures the bank has put in place to contribute to the International Energy Agency’s scenario of limiting global warming to two degrees. Societe Generale continues to increase its presence in the renewable energy sector, notably doubling its financing of the sector with a commitment to making almost €10bn of dedicated funding available by 2020.
PIF explained by Denis Childs, Head of Positive Impact Financing at SG CIB
The Group, which aims to be a key player in energy transition financing, has demonstrated its commitment by successfully issuing the first ever Positive Impact Bond. This is a EUR 500 million fixed-rate senior note with a 5-year maturity in respect of which the funds raised will serve exclusively to finance projects that contribute to the fight against climate change and whose negative impacts will be identified and correctly managed. This bond establishes a benchmark in the market in terms of transparency and traceability, and was met with great success among the community of investors, as it was six times oversubscribed.
Socially Responsible Investment
Societe Generale offers its customers dedicated research on Environmental, Social and Governance (or ESG) issues for businesses. SRI research differs in that it takes both a quantitative and qualitative approach to ESG factors, paying particular attention to the concepts of “materiality” (financial and market impacts) and “integration” (combination of financial, ESG and economic factors affecting investment decisions).
In 2015 Investment Banking bolstered its teams and its ranges of SRI products across all its business lines. Assets under management for SRI products amounted to EUR 1.3 billion in 2015.