Societe Generale: appointments to the management of its new retail bank

(AOF) – Societe Generale announced in a press release appointments to the management of its new retail bank in France, resulting from the merger of its network with that of Crédit du Nord. Marie-Christine Ducholet has been appointed director of the new entity. In addition, Aurore Gaspar Colson and Yann de Nanteuil have respectively been appointed deputy director and deputy director. These appointments will be effective from January 1, 2023, said a press release.

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Key points

– Bank born in 1864, one of the leading European financial services groups;

– Net banking income of €25.8 billion generated by retail banking in France – Societe Generale, Crédit du Nord and Boursorama brands, international retail banking, financial services and insurance, then wholesale banking clientele and investor solutions;

– Business model claiming the vanguard of positive transformations: a 100% digitized bank, open platforms and architectures, a winner in the race for European leadership;

– Capital characterized by the presence of employee shareholders (6.65% and 11.9% of voting rights), with a 16-member board of directors chaired by Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Frédéric Oudéa being managing director;

– Solid balance sheet with, at the end of June, €64.6 billion in equity, a CET 1 ratio of 12.9%, a liquidity coverage ratio of 140%, a leverage ratio of 4.1%, ‘where a debt rated A.

Challenges

– Vision 2025 strategy, based on the merger with Crédit du Nord, local roots, responsiveness, adaptation to customer needs and responsibility: annual revenue growth of at least 3%, improvement in the cost/income ratio at least 62% and return on capital employed at 10% / target CET 1 ratio of 12%;

– Innovation strategy rooted in the group’s DNA, focused on the emergence of a data-driven bank via artificial intelligence: €200 million in annual value creation via data and AI / 8/10ths of servers in the cloud (2025 “second generation” cloud objectives, including 50% in private cloud and 25% in public cloud / new business models – Shine for individual customers, Forge for digital obligations, reezocar for the rental of vehicles and treezor, payment platform and digital currencies;

– 2025 environmental strategy aiming to become the world leader in sustainable finance with 2 axes: integration of criteria in all businesses: 100% responsible savings offer, support for customers in their energy transition, etc. / commitment to sustainable transition: financing increased to €300m 10% reduction in overall exposure to oil & gas extraction, complete phase-out of thermal coal by 2030-40 and loans guaranteed by reserves by 2023, i.e. +€150bn assets in the energy transition;

– Continued integration of Crédit du Nord, finalized in 2023;

– After the refocusing of activities, financial availability to refocus on mobility (purchase of LeasePlan by the subsidiary ALD).

Challenges

– Net assets per share of €67, to be compared with the market price;

– Welcoming investors to the new CEO succeeding Frédéric Oudéa;

– Impact of the Russia-Ukraine war: disposal of the stake in Rosbank with an impact of €3.2 billion on the net income statement, which fell to minus €640 million, resulting in a decline in the CET ratio to 12.9% ;

– After a 15% increase in net banking income and a 17% increase in operating income, 2022 objectives, a sharp increase in cost/income ratio between 66 and 68% and a cost of risk down 30 points base ;

– Distribution rate of 50%, including share program, and forecast of a 2022 dividend of €1.44.

The negative effects of rising interest rates

The rise in interest rates normally causes an increase in bank income through the loans granted. In Europe, according to a survey conducted by S&P among 85 banking establishments, the sector expects an average increase of 18% in its net interest income. However, this new inflationary context also has undesirable effects, in particular an increase in refinancing costs. It is also accompanied by the fear of a new recession, which would then affect all the bank’s businesses, ranging from loans to asset management, whose income is correlated to market valuations. Reassuring element: the banks of the euro zone are sufficiently solid to face a deterioration of their environment.

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Societe Generale: appointments to the management of its new retail bank


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