On the web: http://www.socgen.com
Employee growth: 15.7%
Société Générale wants to be top brass in the French banking industry. The bank (familiarly known as SocGen) commands a three-pronged campaign with operations in global investment management (including SG Private Banking and majority-owned online brokerage Boursorama); retail banking and specialized financial services, including finance, leasing, and insurance; and corporate and investment banking, focusing on European capital markets, derivatives, and structured finance. In the US, the company controls asset manager The TCW Group. (SocGen spun off investment bank Cowen Group in 2006.) SocGen has nearly 3,000 branches in France (including its Crédit du Nord division), and some 5,300 locations worldwide.
Key numbers for fiscal year ending December, 2006:
One year growth: 41.5%
Net income: $6,888.1M
Income growth: 30.8%
Chairman and Co-CEO: Daniel Bouton
Co-CEO and Director: Philippe Citerne
Co-CEO: Didier Alix
法國第二大興業銀行驚爆旗下三十一歲的交易員柯維耶偷天換日假造交易紀錄，造成四十九億歐元驚人虧損。據稱柯維耶是獨自犯案，並無共犯。不過，興業銀行是 全球衍生性金融商品業務龍頭與世界風險管理最好的銀行之一，一名低階交易員何以能突破重重保安和風險管控系統而一手遮天？興業銀行是否錯失防患未然的先 機？柯維耶是否只是代罪羔羊？
根據週日泰晤士報消息，十八日當天一名銀行經理注意到一筆期指交易資料出現異常、將平倉時間設為即將來臨的週日（二十日）晚間，興業於是聯繫下單的機構， 但赫然發現這個機構一無所悉，才使整件事曝光。當晚十點鐘，興業高層主管接獲通知，並展開緊急補救程序，由柯維耶直屬上司開始逐一查核數萬筆疑似假造交易 資料，結果所有疑點都指向柯維耶，於是決定傳喚他進公司說明。柯維耶翌日（十九日）在興業的巴黎總部，接受以興業投資銀行主管馬斯提爾為首的多位主管詢 問。興業高層透露，柯維耶一開始聲稱是在進行賺錢的「聰明交易策略」。
在詐欺案爆發同時，興業原本已預定二十日公布財報並宣布該行勾銷次貸虧損計畫，希望能提振近乎腰斬的股價。興業高層面臨困難的選擇：一是封鎖消息，保留柯 維耶建立的交易部位，等待股市反彈來彌補損失；但若股市繼續下探，興業將面臨倒閉危機。最後興業決定進行平倉動作，兩家美國大型銀行隨即融資相挺，讓興業 暫逃一劫。
French Bank Offers Details of Big Loss
PARIS — The French bank Société Générale, facing persistent questions over how one junior trader could have caused more than $7 billion in losses, acknowledged Sunday that his activities prompted questions from risk managers several times last year, but that the bank never began a wider investigation because his explanations defused any suspicions.
The new details came as the trader, Jérôme Kerviel, 31, spent a second day in police custody, facing questions about what Société Générale asserted was an elaborate, yearlong ruse that involved betting billions of dollars of the bank’s money on European stock index futures.
Mr. Kerviel’s lawyers denounced Sunday the “media lynching” of their client in recent days and argued that Société Générale “brought the loss on themselves.”
In a five-page statement, the bank outlined how it believed Mr. Kerviel combined several different “fraudulent methods” to hide his activity, including using computer access codes of other employees and falsifying documents.
Jean-Pierre Mustier, chief executive of the bank’s corporate and investment banking arm, said in a conference call with reporters that the discovery of the $7.2 billion fraud, on Jan. 18, and the unwinding last week of nearly $75 billion worth of risky investments represented “one of the most difficult periods in the history of Société Générale.”
Mr. Mustier also repeated the bank’s assertion that Mr. Kerviel appeared to have acted alone.
“We have made extensive checks of his portfolio as well as the portfolios of others to see if there was anything like the types of transactions he was using,” Mr. Mustier said. “It seems extremely unlikely” that he had acted with the help of others.
Still, he said, “I cannot guarantee to you 100 percent that there was no complicity.”
Mr. Mustier explained that Mr. Kerviel’s role on the trading desk was that of an arbitrager, which meant that he was entrusted to buy one portfolio of stock index futures and at the same time sell a similar mix of index futures, but with a slightly different value. The object of arbitrage is to try to make a profit from these differences in value. Because the value gaps between similar financial instruments are usually very small and temporary, this type of activity typically involves trading in very high total nominal amounts.
arbitrage 【商】套利 ━━ n. 【商業】さやとり（売買）.
Mr. Kerviel’s fraud, according to the bank, consisted of placing sizable, real purchases in one portfolio but creating fictitious sales transactions in the second, off-setting portfolio. This gave the impression to risk managers that the risks in the first portfolio were hedged, when in fact they were not. As a result, the bank wound up exposed to huge one-way bets, or “long” positions. Instead of hedging, which was his job, Mr. Kerviel was effectively speculating with the bank’s money.
Mr. Mustier said a review of Mr. Kerviel’s trading records showed that he first began creating the fictitious trades in late 2006 and early 2007, but that these transactions were relatively small. The fake trading increased in frequency, and in size, during the course of the year, he said, but the largest fictitious trades involving futures contracts on the Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50, the DAX index in Germany and the FTSE 100 index in Britain were entered in early January.
“Our controls identified from time to time problems with this trader’s portfolio,” Mr. Mustier said, although he declined to say when the first questions were raised by risk managers, saying that the bank’s auditors were still investigating.
Each time one of Mr. Kerviel’s trades was questioned, Mr. Mustier said, Mr. Kerviel would describe it as a “mistake” and cancel the trade.
“But in fact, he then replaced that trade with another transaction using a different instrument” to avoid detection, Mr. Mustier said.
Mr. Mustier also said Mr. Kerviel’s fake trades did not fall into an identifiable pattern.
“He had a lot of various transactions that he would use,” Mr. Mustier said. “I don’t think there was ever an exact repeat” of a trade.
In its statement, Société Générale also sought to dismiss speculation that the unwinding of Mr. Kerviel’s trades contributed greatly to the sharp decline in global stock markets early last week.
The bank said it undid its position over the course of three days, from Jan. 21 through Jan. 23. On each of those days, Société Générale’s share of the total trading volume did not exceed about 8 percent for the contracts in question.
In comparison, Mr. Mustier saidm Société Générale’s normal share of daily trading volume in those futures was 2 percent to 4 percent, although in the cash market the bank’s trading frequently represented up to 10 percent of the daily volume.
“In other futures markets where we did not intervene, we have seen performance that was not very different from the performance we saw on the Euro Stoxx, DAX and FTSE,” Mr. Mustier said. “That shows that our market impact was limited.”
Mr. Kerviel turned himself in to the police Saturday afternoon. French investigators spent the weekend questioning him and poring over documents and computer files seized from Mr. Kerviel’s residence and from the bank offices where he had worked.
On Sunday, his lawyers, Elisabeth Meyer and Christian Charrière-Bournazel, accused the bank management of wanting to “raise a smoke screen to divert public attention from far more substantial losses in the last few months,” notably in the area of subprime American mortgage investments.
The lawyers criticized Daniel Bouton, Société Générale’s chief executive, saying he had published a public letter, under the pretext of reassuring shareholders, that accused Mr. Kerviel of fraud. On the contrary, they argued Kerviel actually made the bank a profit of more than $2 billion as of Dec. 31.
Laura Schalk, a Société Générale spokeswoman, declined to comment on the contentions by Mr. Kerviel’s lawyers.
On Sunday, the head of the financial section of the Paris prosecutor’s office, Jean-Michel Aldebert, said the questioning of Mr. Kerviel had been “extremely fruitful” so far.
Mr. Aldebert declined to give details of what Mr. Kerviel had disclosed, other than to say the trader had addressed “the operations that Société Générale described as fictitious.” He said Mr. Kerviel was explaining “what had happened in very interesting ways.”
Mr. Aldebert added that Mr. Kerviel’s state of mind seemed stable. “According to what he told me, he’s doing fine,” he said.
Société Générale executives had previously described Mr. Kerviel as a “fragile being” who had recently faced “family problems.”
Mr. Aldebert said the prosecutor’s office had decided to hold Mr. Kerviel until Monday morning. He then is expected to be interviewed by a judge.
There was an unusual amount of activity at the financial police headquarters for a Sunday, with police cars coming and going, some with sirens blaring. There are bars on the fourth floor, on the left hand side, on windows of the 10-story building where Mr. Kerviel was being interrogated.
Michel Histel, 62, a retiree who lives nearby and who, like many French people, has been avidly following the story, described the scene as “very exceptional.”
“What’s so surprising about this to me is that they brought this young man so quickly to the financial police headquarters,” Mr. Histel said.
“What is a little bit revolting to me is that people are attacking this young man. But this bank has been playing with fire for a long time,” Mr. Histel said, referring to Société Générale’s leadership in financial derivatives products.