On January 1, 2023, Société Générale Group completed the legal merger of the Crédit du Nord and Société Générale networks. Initiated at the end of 2020, this merger will give rise to SG, the Group's new retail bank. What are the consequences for the employees and customers of each network?
Legal merger, IT migration and branch consolidation
Launched over 2 years ago, the merger project between Societe Generale and its subsidiary Crédit du Nord has reached a new milestone, with the formalization of the legal merger on January 1, 2023. SG, the new retail bank resulting from this merger, is now headed by Marie-Christine Ducholet, assisted by deputy manager Aurore Gaspar Colson and deputy manager Yann de Nanteuil.
🆕1st news of this new year: the SG bank is launched🎉- Societe Generale Group (@SocieteGenerale) January 2, 2023
The result of the legal merger of the Société Générale and Crédit du Nord Group networks, SG has been Société Générale Group's new retail bank in France since January 1 ➡ https://t.co/4sEySJOHI4 pic.twitter.com/zOHGZW3WCX
Further stages are planned over the coming months. The IT migration of the Crédit du Nord Group banks will take place in two stages, in March and May 2023. This will bring Crédit du Nord and Société Générale offerings together within a single infrastructure, and will enable the SG bank to be technically operational from May onwards. Branch mergers will begin in the second half of 2023: 150 mergers, or 30% of the planned combinations, will be completed by the end of the year, 80% by the end of 2024, and 100% by the end of 2025.
In all, the merger of the two networks will result in the closure of 650 branches, including 157 in 2023 and around 300 in 2024. According to the Société Générale Group, SG will retain " the same territorial footprint ", with only the branches closest in geographical proximity destined to merge.
Changes for employees and customers
For employees of the Crédit du Nord Group, the merger of the two networks has already resulted in changes to employment contracts, which are now denominated Société Générale. Those previously employed at Crédit du Nord head office will be split between Société Générale's Val de Fontenay and La Défense offices.
As the Group explained in a recent letter to customers of the Société Générale network, the merger will not entail any changes for them. However, Crédit du Nord network customers will receive a new RIB for each of their accounts in May, as soon as the computerized transfer of accounts and loans is complete.
To facilitate this migration, customers will be able to continue using their Crédit du Nord RIB until June 2024, and Société Générale will be responsible for transmitting the new bank details to energy suppliers, telephone operators and public bodies. As of May, former Crédit du Nord customers will also have to use Société Générale's online services (website and mobile application) to carry out their remote transactions.
Since January 1, the 10 million customers of both networks have benefited from the same pricing conditions.
SG, the group's new retail bank
By the end of the year, 1,000 branches of both networks will be rebranded in the colors of SG, the new bank resulting from the merger. This national brand will be combined with 10 regional brands: SG SMC (Marseille), SG Sud-Ouest (Bordeaux), SG Auvergne Rhône Alpes (Lyon), SG Grand-Est (Strasbourg), SG Crédit du Nord (Lille), SG Société Générale in Corsica and Ile-de-France, SG Grand-Ouest (Rennes), SG Tarneaud (Limoges), SG Laydernier (Annecy) and SG Courtois (Toulouse).
Despite the branch closures, Société Générale Group says that customers will have access to a greater number of sales outlets, " more than doubling the number of Crédit du Nord Group customers and increasing the number of Société Générale customers by 15% ", according to the latest press release.
The SG bank aims to be " accessible and responsive, with shorter decision-making circuits to speed up decision-making", but also " responsible ", placing " CSR issues at the heart of its new model with a view to strengthening the positive impact for customers and territories ".
" Our ambition is to become an even more essential player in the French market, recognized for the quality of its expertise, its speed of execution, its regional roots, and to reach the Top 3 in customer satisfaction," explains Sébastien Proto, Executive Vice President in charge of the SG network in France.