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French banking giant Société Générale loses more than €1bn in Covid-19 crisis

Societe Generale has been caught up in around a dozen probes and lawsuits in recent months.
Societe Generale has been caught up in around a dozen probes and lawsuits in recent months. Reuters/John Schults/Files
Text by: Arnab Béranger with RFI
2 min

French bank Société Générale announced losses of over a billion euros in the second quarter of 2020. Citing post-Covid economic repercussions, the bank claimed it was forced to write down certain activities, though it was 'too early' to talk of any layoff plans.

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Leading French bank Société Générale announced a net loss of 1.26 billion euros for the second quarter of 2020.

The bank, who recorded a profit of more than a billion euros for the same period last year, cited ‘the global health crisis and its economic repercussions’ as the reason for the loss.

As a result, Société Générale said it had been forced into two large write-downs -- 700 million euros on markets activities, plus another 650 million euros on certain tax benefits.

However, the bank said it was ‘too early’ to talk of any plans for laying off staff.

Banks adapt to post-Covid challenges

Société Generale’s net banking income - a bank's core measure of profitability - tumbled 13.5 percent.

Given the uncertain outlook, the bank has put aside 653 million euros to cover losses during the three months.

Societe Generale said the challenge now was to adapt to the changes brought by the pandemic.

It announced three priority objectives for its 2021-2023 strategy, namely ‘the importance of the client, social and environmental responsibility, and operational efficiency based on new digital technologies’.

 

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