Published on 23/09/2020

Societe Generale group studies the creation of a new retail bank in France

Societe Generale group studies the creation of a new retail bank in France, with regional roots and serving 10 million clients, based on the merger of its two banking networks, Credit du Nord and Societe Generale

Combining the strengths of the two networks would create a major player on the French banking market serving 10 million clients. Drawing on its regional roots and digital strength, the new bank would aspire to a renewed ambition in terms of commercial success and profitability while offering the highest level of client satisfaction and building a more efficient model. Guided by the shared values of the two brands, the new bank would further strengthen its responsible banking commitments and continue to participate fully in the sustainable development of the territories.

The General Management is launching a study, approved in principle by the Board of Directors, on the creation of a new retail bank in France through a merger of its two existing banking networks in France,  Crédit du Nord and Societe Generale.

Drawing on the quality of these two businesses, with nearly 9 million individual clients and 1 million professional and business clients, and the strong complementarity of the two networks in terms of expertise and geographical presence, this new retail bank would have an even stronger footprint in the French market, with three objectives

  • maximise satisfaction levels for both current and future clients by drawing on the expertise of the teams, a stronger foothold in the regions, and a more enriched client experience adapted to their specific needs (individuals, wealth management clients, professionals, businesses, non-profits, local authorities);
  • establish a more efficient model to pursue even more ambitious commercial goals through regionalised governance, faster decision-making processes and a new acceleration of our digital strategy;
  • generate significant synergies to strengthen the profitability of one of Societe Generale’s main businesses. This merger would come on top of all the other initiatives already announced by the Group in its different business lines to strengthen its overall profitability. 

The study must define, in particular, the conditions to roll out a regional set-up that would strengthen decision-making power at a local level, enhance the proximity of service provided to our clients, and achieve greater agility and responsiveness. It will also look at the conditions for implementing a single information system.

It will be carried out between now and the end of November under the management of Sébastien Proto, Deputy general manager responsible for the retail banking networks in France, with the contribution of the management and teams of both networks and in liaison with the private banking and insurance teams. The resulting project, if it materialises, would integrate social, societal and environmental dimensions and would be subject to the necessary discussions and consultations with the social partners in accordance with our traditional approach of responsible employer.

Frédéric Oudéa, Societe Generale Chief Executive Officer, comments: “In the current demanding environment, the Group is actively preparing the next stage of its strategy with the new General Management team and we want to speed up structuring initiatives to strengthen our business model of diversified European banking group. The retail banking activities in France are key franchises for the Group. After successfully completing the first stage of transformation of our networks, we are launching a new strategic stage, drawing lessons from the health and economic crises and the constantly changing needs of clients, in order to confirm the commercial  and financial competitiveness of our businesses. The goal of the study being carried out on a possible merger of our two networks, which offer highly complementary strengths and areas of expertise, is to create a new leading edge retail bank in France, serving 10 million clients and combining regional roots with technological efficiency, looking to win new clients and achieve growth while staying fully in line with our mission statement. In parallel, Boursorama, the leading online bank in France with 2.4 million clients as at 30 June 2020, will continue the dynamic growth of  its alternative model, thus completing Societe Generale Group's presence in the French market.”


The activities concerned by the study on the creation of a new retail bank through the merger of the Societe Generale and Crédit du Nord networks:

  • The Societe Generale network is a nationwide generalist banking network with 20,700 employees, 7.3 million clients (individuals, wealth management clients, professionals, businesses, non-profits and local authorities), a network of  1,749 branches mainly located in urban regions and a comprehensive, innovative omni-channel set-up.
  • The Crédit du Nord network is a banking group comprising nine banks, Courtois, Kolb, Laydernier, Nuger, Rhône-Alpes, Société Marseillaise de Crédit, Tarneaud, Société de Banque Monaco and Crédit du Nord, and the investment company Société de Bourse Gilbert Dupont. It has around 8,200 employees and serves 2.4 million clients (individuals, professionals and businesses), with a network of  679 branches rooted in the regions with a particular focus on serving entrepreneurs.