Enabling the digital economy


This year’s theme “Enabling the digital economy” resonates deeply with our experts from within Societe Generale’s Global Transaction Banking and Securities Services divisions and elsewhere across our bank. Every day is a new opportunity for our Group to take up challenges on behalf of our clients and other partners and make a positive contribution to building the world of tomorrow.

No article on financial services today is complete without references to certain key words: big data, blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, open application programming interfaces and cyber security. Words and phrases that scarcely existed even a decade ago are now embedded as part of today’s lingua franca. The absolute need to rely on new technologies is universally accepted throughout financial services. Thanks to the experiences of recent times we know now that there is nothing to be afraid of, especially when humans and machines work alongside one another, each capitalising on their best attributes. In response to request from our clients, and often working closely with them, we have begun to develop projects creating operational efficiencies, augmenting the client experience and initiating brand new offers. These projects are beginning to mature as we edge further into what is increasingly recognised and embraced as the fourth industrial revolution.

An integral feature of this new era is an evolving regulatory framework. In it, banks must be more transparent than ever. Banks must be more efficient than ever. Banks must be more effective than ever. The new environment demands a combination of expertise and skills on the part of banks and of their client partners. The contributors to this publication have sought to address the major issues, challenges and opportunities facing our industry, writing individually, jointly and severally. We hope that you will enjoy their short essays and draw appropriate lessons and comfort from their efforts. The digital transformation journey has only just begun. But as Eric Le Lay, Gildas Onen and Yvan Mirochnikoff note in their joint analysis (The Challenge of Ensuring Effective Regulatory Compliance), a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

If we might be permitted to mix our metaphors, that single step represents a major milestone for our clients, for our Group and for our industry.