In 2015, our Group completed another stage in its transformation process, with Group net income of EUR 4 billion in 2015, substantially higher than in 2014. Our businesses demonstrated an excellent commercial momentum in an albeit lacklustre environment. The Group also confirmed its ability to create value over the long term, with tangible net asset value per share increasing 9% in 2015.
In 2015, we continued to progress in the implementation of our 2014-2016 strategic plan. The Societe Generale Group is able to draw on the strength of its balanced universal banking model based around its three major businesses: French Retail Banking, International Retail Banking & Financial Services and Global Banking & Investor Solutions. Once again in 2015, we demonstrated our ability to adapt and transform ourselves in the face of a challenging economic environment, increased regulatory and fiscal pressures and radical changes in our customers’ behaviour. Over the last few years, we have refocused our business portfolio around our core businesses, improved our credit origination, reduced our cost of risk, transformed and lowered our cost base. We have also accelerated the digital transformation of all our businesses and 2015 was a pivotal year in this respect.
Revenues were up +9% at EUR 25.6 billion in 2015, driven by the dynamism of all the businesses.
French Retail Banking experienced its most successful year in 10 years, in terms of winning new customers. Our three brands, Societe Generale, Crédit du Nord and Boursorama, opened 305,000 new accounts. Against the backdrop of a gradual pick-up in activity in France, the Group continued to assist individuals and businesses with the financing of their projects. As a result, outstanding loans increased by nearly 2% in 2015.
International Retail Banking enjoyed strong deposit inflow and robust loan growth in Europe and Africa. As for Russia, the situation is gradually improving. Insurance and Financial Services to Corporates provided further confirmation of their good performance and posted revenue growth of respectively +10%* and +13%*.
Financing & Advisory continued to expand. The growth in Financing & Advisory more than offset the decline in Global Markets, marked by unstable market conditions in second half. Accordingly, Global Banking & Investor Solutions’ revenues were up +1%*.
At the same time, we maintained strict discipline in the management of our costs and risks. Overall, we generated Group net income of EUR 4 billion in 2015, substantially higher than the previous year (+47%*).
These good results enable us to strengthen our capital: with a CET1 ratio of 10.9% and a leverage ratio of 4%, the capital targets announced in our strategic plan have already been achieved. The Group’s capital ratios exceed the regulatory requirements of the European Central Bank.
The dividend that will be proposed to the Annual General Meeting on May 18th amounts to EUR 2 in cash per share. It is substantially higher than in 2014 (EUR 1.20) and at its highest level for 7 years. It corresponds to a payout ratio of 50% of our net income, in accordance with our commitments.
In 2016 and in an environment that remains uncertain, we will pursue our strategy focused on the customer and a creator of long-term value. We will continue to place the customer and digital at the heart of the transformation of our business model. 2016 will be, I am convinced, another positive stage for Societe Generale.
Once again, I would like to thank you for your loyalty and the trust you have placed in our Group.
Frédéric Oudéa, Chief Executive Officer
(*) When adjusted for changes in Group structure and at constant exchange rates