Societe Generale bets retail business on open banking and Boursorama
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Societe Generale bets retail business on open banking and Boursorama

With investment in technology supporting its Crédit du Nord merger, the bank hopes that product partnerships and a lower cost-to-serve will make it stand out in French retail.

Source: Celette

Societe Generale is taking new steps to shore up its retail business and build a differentiated offering amid the challenges of negative rates and Covid-19.

The business will be relatively cheap to run and better adapted to the rise of new digital competitors and open banking, chief financial officer William Kadouch-Chassaing tells Euromoney.

These aims lie behind a project, unveiled in early December, to fully integrate its Crédit du Nord division.

SocGen will shift to one core banking system for French retail, with common central functions for things such as finance, risk, compliance and human resources, including centralized staff training.

While the Crédit du Nord brands may survive, this is essentially a merger, and consequently capable of cutting Crédit du Nord’s cost base by about a third – saving about €450 million by 2025.

It is easier now, adds the CFO, because the two networks have already restructured to a large extent – more than many local peers.

Front office

In the front office, certainly, SocGen has developed better digital interfaces than before. Crédit du Nord has also built up its remote contact centre.

“We’re in a better position to be able to say which branches we can close, what will work and won’t work,” says Kadouch-Chassaing.

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