SocGen chiefs testifies over Panama disclosures

Societe General Sign

Societe Generale Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea testified before the French Senate about disclosures of the bank’s offshore dealings in the Panama document leak.

“Societe Generale is particularly vigilant” when dealing with offshore clients, Oudea said on Wednesday in Paris as he was questioned for two hours over the bank’s business links with Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co. Even if “legitimate reasons” such as complex inheritances can sometimes justify clients setting up these type of trusts, Societe Generale’s private bank has increasingly focused its activities on Europe, he said.

Bloomberg News reports that media reports last month based on millions of documents leaked from Mossack Fonseca revealed how its lawyers worked with some of Europe’s largest banks, including Societe Generale, to create offshore shell companies for world leaders, athletes and other rich clients. The French government, which responded by requesting the bank’s top management for a closed-doors meeting, is exploring options including sanctions.

Senator Eric Bocquet said on Wednesday that Oudea has been summoned because the Panama papers showed the bank among the top five lenders working with Mossack Fonseca.

To access the complete Bloomberg News article hit the link below:

SocGen CEO Oudea Defends Panama Link in French Senate Hearing

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