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Pan African financial institution, Societe Generale Bank has drawn up strategic development plan for all 19 countries of its operations in Africa excluding Nigeria.
Business Hilights recalls that the bank which had been in Nigeria pulled out due to issues bordering on recapitalization of banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) some years ago.
Since then, there has not been any form of new effort to launch a come back to the economy as majority of its office relics and properties had been taken over by original land owners.
In Nigeria, the bank was linked to the Olusola Saraki dynasty in Kwara State, the father of the current Senate president, Dr Bukola Saraki.
At a recent press trip to Dakar, Societe Generale group confirmed the solid growth of its African operations, in line with its “Transform to Grow” strategic plan. 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.
The bank said with operations in 19 African countries (Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Mauritania, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa, Togo, and Tunisia), Societe Generale has a unique position in the region that enables it offer 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.
With the business customers accounting for more than 60% of NBI and outstanding loans, the bank is supporting the increasingly sophisticated client base, 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 as 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.
Relying on the gains of its innovation Labs in Dakar, Tunis and Casablanca, where new banking and non-banking solutions are being developed with start-ups and customers, to deepen the new inclusive growth strategy in Africa.
As part of drive to step up business initiatives to foster sustainable development in Africa, the bank is coming up with growth schemes including Multi-dimensional support for African SMEs, Infrastructure financing, Developing innovative financing solutions and Promoting development through financial inclusion in the continent.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of Societe Generale, Frédéric Oudéa, said “Our long-standing presence in Africa makes Societe Generale an essential, well-placed player on the continent to serve as a unifying force around the challenge of responsibility and sustainably contributing to African growth. This ambition is a key part of our strategic plan. This is why we are launching “Grow with Africa”, an initiative that involves all stakeholders seeking to provide solutions to the specific environment in which sustainable development in Africa is expanding, and who are convinced that the futures of Europe and Africa are more closely linked than ever.”
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