The CEO of Société Générale will assume direct supervision of the risk and compliance control functions at the French multinational investment bank following the completion of remediation programs in line with two deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) reached in the United States.
Frédéric Oudéa will also assume oversight of the general inspection and audit function, the finance function, the corporate secretary, and human resources and communications. The shuffle of duties was proposed by Oudéa and approved by the company’s board of directors Dec. 9.
Société Générale reached a three-year DPA with the U.S. Department of Justice in June 2018 after admitting to manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and paying bribes in Libya. The bank agreed to pay a total of $860 million in criminal penalties related to the matter.
Then, in November 2018, Société Générale entered another three-year DPA related to violations of U.S. economic sanctions. The bank accepted responsibility for its role in processing billions of dollars of U.S. dollar transactions using the U.S. financial system in connection with credit facilities involving Cuba and consented to pay a $1.34 billion criminal penalty in an agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Société Générale on Dec. 3 announced the end of legal proceedings related to the two DPAs, stating the Department of Justice confirmed the bank fully complied with its obligations under the agreements.
“In recent years, Société Générale has put in place very significant means and resources to strengthen its overall compliance and control system in order to prevent violations of law and meet the banking sector’s high compliance and ethical standards,” the bank stated. “Société Générale is committed to maintaining its efforts going forward. The bank will continue to implement enhancements and to promote compliance and integrity as key components of its corporate culture.”
The impending transition of risk and compliance oversight to Oudéa at Société Générale is part of a larger strategy at the bank to better “meet the challenges of ESG and digital technology.” Deputy CEO Diony Lebot will be responsible for overseeing all environmental, social, and governance initiatives in addition to retaining supervision of specialized financial services and insurance activities. Meanwhile, CEO of Société Générale Asia Pacific Gaëlle Olivier will be appointed group deputy general manager and chief operating officer with responsibility for coordinating the IT, digital transformation, and innovation function.
“I wanted to adapt the organization of the general management team and the distribution of responsibilities within it in order to embody the two cross-functional transformations of ESG and digital technology at general management level, as these will affect all our businesses and functions, as well as to maintain close oversight of all our strategic initiatives at the highest level of the company,” said Oudéa in a press release. “Our priority in the coming quarters will be the perfect execution of all our various projects, with the ambition of building a bank fully adapted to meeting challenges of tomorrow.”
The changes are expected to take effect Jan. 17, 2022.