Euromoney 40th anniversary special: Focus on Société Générale
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Euromoney 40th anniversary special: Focus on Société Générale

When it comes to listing the leading international banking groups that operate in central and eastern Europe, the names that immediately spring to mind are such banks as RZB and Erste Bank from Austria or Italy’s UniCredit or Intesa SanPaolo. But France’s Société Générale can also justifiably lay claim to being one of the leaders of the emerging European banking pack through its ownership of household names throughout the region – including Splitska Banka in Croatia, Komercni Banka in the Czech Republic, BRD in Romania, Rosbank in Russia and SKB Banka in Slovenia. In addition to these big players, it owns banks in Albania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Macedonia and Moldova. Altogether the bank has 17 subsidiaries with more than 2,800 branches in the region, which serve more than 10 million customers. Central and eastern Europe accounts for 75% of Société Générale’s net business income from its international retail banking operations. Concerns about the short-term economic health of the region notwithstanding, Jean-Louis Mattei, head of international retail banking, says: "We are focusing on managing our overheads but are also preparing for any rebound – there’s still a lot of room for development in the region."

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