The Board of Directors of Societe Generale examined the Group's financial statements for Q3 and the first nine months of 2011 on November 7th, 2011. Group net income totalled EUR 622 million in Q3. It includes several non-recurring items without any overall impact on the results.
The main non-recurring items are, on the one hand, the positive impact of the revaluation of own financial liabilities (EUR +542 million), and on the other hand, the write-down of Greek government bonds (EUR -239 million or EUR -333 million before tax and minorities) taking their provisioning rate to 60%, and a EUR -200 million goodwill impairment in respect of the consumer finance activities of the Specialised Financial Services and Insurance division. When restated for these items, the Group's results testify to the solidity of the core businesses and the Group's resilience in a particularly difficult environment.
The French Networks continued to benefit from buoyant commercial activity and robust financial results. International Retail Banking provided further evidence of the improvement in its performance, except for Greece, where the Group increased the NPL coverage ratio for its Geniki subsidiary. Corporate and Investment Banking results were impacted by the tense situation in the markets, but remained positive. Specialised Financial Services succeeded in stabilising its outstandings, while at the same time managing a considerable liquidity and capital constraint. Private Banking, Global Investment Management and Services demonstrated its resilience in a challenging market environment.
In the turbulent environment that characterised the third quarter, the Group adopted a highly prudent credit and market risk management policy. |ln the face of the tensions that appeared during the summer regarding US dollar liquidity, Societe Generale thus demonstrated its ability to rapidly adapt. Against this backdrop, the Group has accelerated its transformation process and is aiming to significantly reduce its balance sheet and financing needs by end-2013. Initiatives rapidly undertaken within Corporate and Investment Banking - accelerated disposal of legacy assets (EUR 10 billion between July 1st and November 1st, for an NBI effect of EUR -121 million over the period) and withdrawal from or reduction of some financing activities - have already made it possible to achieve more than two-thirds of the announced reduction.
On October 27th, the European Banking Authority published a new capital requirement for European banks. They will have to strengthen their capital by mid-2012 in order to achieve a Basel 2 Core Tier 1 ratio, including CRD 3 provisions, of 9%, with an additional buffer covering unrealised capital losses on sovereign debt exposure at September 30th, 2011. In light of this new requirement and whereas the Group had already increased its solvency ratios since the beginning of the year, the Board of Directors has made the strengthening of the Group's capital the priority. It has decided to propose not distributing a dividend in respect of the 2011 financial year to the Annual General Meeting. The write-back of the dividend provision and the Q3 earnings resulted in a higher Basel 2 Core Tier 1 ratio of 9.5% at end-September 2011 (vs. 8.5% at December 31st, 2010). On this basis, the need to strengthen the Group's capital amounts to EUR 2.1 billion (data at September 30th, 2011), which it will cover by June 30th, 2012 through its own resources (profits allocated to reserves, strict control of risk-weighted assets, asset disposals).
Frederic Oudea, the Group's Chairman and CEO, stated: "In a challenging environment, Q3 demonstrated the Group's resilience: the profit-generating capacity of the core businesses is robust. We are working to adapt the core businesses most affected by the crisis, paying particular attention to cost control, in particular via the realignment of our operating infrastructure, a significant decline in performance-linked pay within Corporate and Investment Banking and productivity gains scheduled for 2012 in International Retail Banking. We have resolutely started to reduce the balance sheet by limiting the needs of our Corporate and Investment Banking division, disposing of a significant amount of our legacy assets at a low cost for the Group, and halving our sovereign debt exposure to GIIPS countries since the beginning of the year. We are giving priority to the strengthening of the Group's capital to ensure we meet the prudential requirements of the EBA by mid-2012 and Basel 3 in 2013 as quickly as possible."