SocGen Cooperating With Authorites on Libor, Chief Says

Societe Generale SA, which is investigating its contributions to interbank rate panels including the London Interbank Offered Rate, continues to work with authorities on the issue, Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea said.

“We’re carrying on with cooperating with the regulators,” Oudea said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Societe Generale has “no new facts” and “nothing really new to add to our previous comments” on the investigation the bank is making on its contributions to benchmark interest rates such as Libor and the euro interbank offered rate, he said.

As a member of panels that help set interbank rates, including Libor, Societe Generale has received requests from different regulators, Oudea said in August.

“To date, we have not received any notice of wrongdoing,” he said in an Aug. 1 interview. Societe Generale, based in Paris, said that same month that it started an internal investigation over its contributions to interbank rate panels.

Oudea, asked today whether a fourth-quarter “general” provision may also cover risks for possible fines, said that “yes, if there is fines going forward, yes of course it’s there in our accounts.”

Societe Generale, France’s second-biggest bank, took a 300 million-euro ($404 million) provision for “litigation issues” in the fourth quarter, it said in a statement today, without adding further details.

“We have taken I would say a global provision in the fourth quarter for all our litigations in a conservative approach because we see more and more litigations on different businesses,” Oudea said in the interview. “We felt, in order to prepare 2013 as well as possible, it made sense to make a general provision and we’ll see.”

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