Societe Generale posts annual loss on virus hit

PARIS (AFP) – French banking giant Societe Generale (SocGen) slumped into a net loss in 2020 as the pandemic battered the global economy despite a recovery in the second half, it said yesterday.

The group reported a net loss of EUR258 million (USD313 million) for last year, compared to a profit of around EUR3.2 billion in 2019.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the bank to boost bad loan provisions and take various accounting charges.

Net banking income – equivalent to turnover – fell by 10 per cent last year.

Over the first six months, SocGen recorded a net loss of around EUR1.6 billion but it reported a “significant improvement” in the second half, it said in a statement.

It posted a net profit of EUR862 million in the third quarter and EUR470 million in the fourth, although this was down almost 30 per cent compared to a year earlier.

“The Q4 results provide further confirmation of the rebound in our businesses observed in Q3 after a beginning of the year marked by the impacts of the COVID crisis,” CEO Frederic Oudea said in the statement.