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Societe Generale continues its sustainable growth strategy in Africa

Staff Writer |
During a press trip to Dakar, Societe Generale group confirmed the solid growth of its African operations, in line with its “Transform to Grow” strategic plan.

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As part of the launch of its “Grow with Africa” programme, the Bank also announced several initiatives in partnership with international, regional and local clients and institutions in order to meet sustainable development needs in Africa.

With operations in 19 African countries, Societe Generale has a unique positioning in the region, enabling the Group to offer its customers the expertise and knowledge of an international bank combined with the proximity of its local banking networks.

With its roots in Africa stretching back over a century, the Group’s 11,500 staff members on the continent support local economies, serving 4.1 million customers, including 150,000 businesses.

As announced in its strategic plan, the Group is targeting a compound annual revenue growth rate of 8% and profitability of over 15% by 2020 for its African operations.

The Africa, Mediterranean Basin & Overseas Region Business Unit generated €1.52 billion in revenue in 2017, an increase of 11%. This trend continued in the first nine months of 2018, as the bank continued to roll out its strategy, building on its strengths to capture local growth.

Business customers account for more than 60% of NBI and outstanding loans. The bank is supporting this increasingly sophisticated client base, in particular via regional hubs of expertise that have proven their capability in more mature markets, such as structured finance or currency hedging solutions. Societe Generale has also decided to increase its outstanding loans to African SMEs by 60% over the next five years (+€4 billion).

In terms of individual customers, Societe Generale is looking to consolidate its leadership positions in several countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Senegal, Guinea, etc.), specifically by drawing on the benefits of its high-end positioning, while remaining focused on improving customer satisfaction. The Bank is also forging ahead with its innovation strategy with the roll-out of YUP. This e-wallet solution was launched in August 2017 and currently has over 300,000 e-wallets opened and almost 4,500 agents. YUP adds around 1,500 new customers per day and is aiming for one million customers and 8,000 agents by 2020.

In order to deliver on this roadmap, Societe Generale is adapting its structure in Africa.

Four regional divisions for Africa have been set up in Abidjan, Douala, Algiers and Casablanca, in addition to an organisation and IT system division in Casablanca. Specifically, this will enable the pooling of expertise, standardise processes and improve efficiency.

The Bank is also looking to broaden its innovation initiatives, thanks to Innovation Labs in Dakar, Tunis and Casablanca, where new banking and non-banking solutions are being developed with start-ups and customers.

Finally, the Group his strengthening its teams in Africa. With a strong renewal in the managerial structure, many African staff members well connected to local economies are being promoted to top management positions. Several initiatives on training, equality – such as the partnership with “Women in Africa” – and collective intelligence are also playing a key role in the Group’s inclusive growth strategy.


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