At its February 17th 2009 meeting, the Board of Directors of Société Générale approved the financial statements for 2008, with Group net income of EUR 2.0 billion (EUR 0.1 billion in the fourth quarter). Société Générale demonstrated a sound ability to expand in Retail Banking (both in France and internationally) during 2008. Financial Services’ commercial performance was satisfactory despite the effect of the economic slowdown. The Private Banking, custody, futures brokerage and online banking activities produced good performances in 2008, in an environment of lower rates and strong volatility.
Asset Management was impacted in 2008 by the overall decline in assets under management and the write-downs affecting some asset classes. Meanwhile, Corporate and Investment Banking performances (excluding non-recurring items related to the crisis) testify to the quality of the customer franchise and its clients’ renewed trust.
**Combined Asset Management Activities**
Société Générale also started to adjust its operating framework in businesses affected by the crisis. Accordingly, the Group has launched plans to combine its asset management activities with those of Crédit Agricole and merge SGAM AI and Lyxor Asset Management. The planned realignment of Corporate and Investment Banking should help further expand its client-driven activities, and enhance its efficiency and risk control infrastructure.
Commenting on the Group’s 2008 results, Frédéric Oudéa, Chief Executive, said Société Générale’s 2008 results reflect the Group’s ability to deal with a serious financial and economic crisis. ”The Group has taken steps to adapt its businesses to the more uncertain environment. It enters 2009 with a solid capital position and the ambition to support its customers both inside and outside France, as it did throughout 2008 (as reflected in a +9.2% increase in outstanding loans to the French economy), and capitalise on appropriate opportunities that arise,”he added.
SG Hambros is part of SG Private Banking, the private banking arm of Société Générale. It employs over 520 people in the UK (London, Cambridge, Southampton and Milton Keynes), Jersey, Guernsey, Gibraltar and The Bahamas.