Societe Generale to restart banking operations in Australia

file photo: The logo of French bank Societe Generale is pictured at a bank buidling in Paris, France, April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

(Reuters) - Paris-based Societe Generale said on Thursday it has received banking authorisation from Australia’s financial regulator, years after winding down operations in the country.

Societe Generale, one of the world’s biggest banks by assets, said the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has given permission for the bank as a foreign authorised deposit-taking institution.

The French bank was one of the several foreign banks circling Australia once again, as they bet on resources and infrastructure investment gathering pace at a time when local banks were distracted by a government inquiry following a string of scandals.

The bank also said that company veteran Pascal Sefrin has been appointed as group country head for Australia.

A banking licence would allow Societe Generale to raise funds in Australia and lend to local companies directly rather than through its offshore operations.

Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel