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Local contacts

France : +33 (0) 1 42 14 20 00 (9am - 5pm)
Luxembourg : +352 47 93 11 1 (8:30am - 6pm)
Monaco : +377 97 97 58 00 (9/12am - 2/5pm)
Switzerland : Geneva +41 22 819 02 02
& Zurich +41 44 218 56 11 (8:30am - 5:30pm)

You would like to contact about the protection of your personal data?

Please contact the Data Protection Officer of Societe Generale Private Banking France by sending an email to the following address :

Please contact Bieneke Russon, the Data Protection Officer of Societe Generale Bank & Trust Luxembourg by phone : +352- or by sending an email to the following address :

Please contact Julien Garnier, the Data Protection Officer of Societe Generale Private Banking Monaco by sending an email to the following address :

Please contact Omar Otmani, the Data Protection Officer of Societe Generale Private Banking Switzerland by sending an email to the following address :

You need to make a claim?

 Any claim addressed to Societe Generale Private Banking France should be sent by e-mail to the following address : or by mail to : 

Société Générale Private Banking France
Direction Commerciale
29 boulevard Haussmann CS 614
75421 Paris Cedex 9

The Bank will acknowledge your request within 10 days after receipt and provide a response to your claim within 60 days of receipt. If your request requires additional processing time (e.g. if it involves complex researches…), the Bank will inform you by mail. 

In the event that the response you receive does not meet your expectations, we suggest to contact : 


The Societe Generale Group’s Ombudsman

The Societe Generale Group’s Ombudsman can be contacted by the following website :  or by mail :

Le Médiateur auprès de Société Générale
17 Cours Valmy 

In reviewing any matter, the Ombudsman undertakes the consideration of both the client’s and the bank’s point of view, evaluates arguments from each of the parties and makes a decision in all fairness.

The Group’s Ombudsman will respond to you directly within two months of receipt of the written submissions of the parties relating to the claim.


The Ombudsman of the AMF

The Ombudsman of the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) can be contacted at the following address :

Médiateur de l'AMF, Autorité des Marchés Financier
17 place de la Bourse
75082 PARIS CEDEX 02

The Insurance Ombudsman

Please contact the Insurance Ombudsman : contact details must be mentioned in your insurance contract.

To ensure that your requests are handled effectively, any claim addressed to Societe Generale Bank & Trust should be sent to:

Private banking Claims department
11, Avenue Emile Reuter
L-2420 Luxembourg

The Bank will acknowledge your request within 10 days and provide a response to your claim within 30 days of receipt. If your request requires additional processing time (e.g. if it involves complex research), the Bank will inform you of this situation within the same 30-day timeframe.

In the event that the response you receive does not meet your expectations, we suggest the following :

Initially, you may wish to contact the SGBT Division responsible for handling claims, at the following address:

Corporate Secretariat of Societe Generale Bank & Trust
11, Avenue Emile Reuter
L-2420 Luxembourg

If the response from the Division responsible for claims does not resolve the claim, you may wish to contact Societe Generale Bank & Trust's supervisory authority, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (Financial Sector Supervisory Commission) :

By mail: 283, Route d’Arlon L-1150 Luxembourg

 Any claim addressed to Societe Generale Private Banking Monaco should be sent by e-mail to the following address: or by mail to our dedicated department : 

Societe Generale Private Banking Monaco
Middle Office – Service Réclamation 
11 avenue de Grande Bretagne
98000 Monaco

The Bank will acknowledge your request within 2 days after receipt and provide a response to your claim within 10 days of receipt. If your request requires additional processing time (e.g. if it involves complex researches…), the Bank will inform you of this situation within the same 30-day timeframe. 

In the event that the response you receive does not meet your expectations, we suggest to contact the Societe Generale Private Banking Direction that handles the claims by mail at the following address : 

Secrétariat Général de Societe Generale Private Banking Monaco 
11 avenue de Grande Bretagne 
98000 Monaco

Any claim addressed to the Bank can be sent by email to:
Clients may also contact the Swiss Banking Ombudsman :

Life insurance: Adapting your beneficiary clause for intergenerational transfers

Article by our experts Julie Boussin and Guillaume Pinelli.
Article up to date as at 1 June 2021, written in accordance with French legislation in force and applicable to individuals whose tax residence is in France.

Life insurance is a means of transferring your liquid assets in favourable conditions to the beneficiaries of your choice. To do this you need to carefully word the beneficiary clause and update it on a regular basis in line with your personal objectives. A number of solutions exist for passing on your wealth to more than one generation.

A flexible scheme for remunerating the beneficiaries of your choice

When it comes to estate planning, life insurance offers a lot of flexibility. Provided the premiums paid are not “manifestly excessive”*, i.e. disproportionate to the policyholder’s circumstances, the death benefits will be granted to the persons designated in the beneficiary clause, and who may not necessarily be legal heirs. Irrespective of kinship, the same tax treatment applies for payments made from 13/10/1998 and before the policyholder’s 70th birthday (allowance of €152,500 per beneficiary and taxation of 20%, then 31.25% over and above €700,000). This is a more favourable than the inheritance tax scale (marginal tax bracket of 45% for direct-line heirs, 60% among third parties - the scale that applies to premiums paid after 70 years of age, net the total allowance of €30,500). In all cases, the spouse or civil partner (under the French PACS civil union contract) is exempt from transfer duties.

With life expectancy increasing and children inheriting from their parents later and later in life, how can you make the most of the freedom offered by the beneficiary clause?

Naturally, you can simply include your grandchildren as beneficiaries of your life insurance policies and add to the number of tax allowance available. But there are other ways to fully exploit this powerful tool and remunerate several generations.

The double-barrelled transfer approach: splitting ownership

One solution is to separate the beneficiary clause’s attributes of ownership. While this is widely used to designate the spouse as the usufructuary of the death benefits and the children as the bare-owners, it is also possible to split ownership in a way that allows multiple generations to successively benefit from the capital. For example, usufruct for children, who can enjoy the death benefits without limit for the remainder of their lifetime (principle of quasi-usufruct), and bare ownership for grandchildren. Both generations are therefore eligible for more favourable life-insurance taxation upon the policyholder’s death, and according to the value of their respective rights. At the end of usufruct, the quasi-usufructuary will be responsible for returning its estimated value on the restitution date. Accordingly, there will be no additional taxation upon the usufructuary’s death, as the transfer to the grandchildren will have been accounted for.

In such cases, a quasi-usufruct agreement should be drawn up by private agreement and filed at the tax office, or by notarially recorded deed. This is to set out the rights and duties of each party with respect to these sums of money, and to determine the amount (and possibly an escalator clause) of the bare-owners’ receivable amount from the usufructuary’s estate asset.

It is important to have a clear understanding between usufructuary and bare-owner(s) before splitting ownership under the beneficiary clause.

To involve the different generations in a family undertaking, you can also stipulate a reinvestment clause under which usufructuaries and bare-owners must co-invest the split capital into other assets, the ownership will also be split: real estate or financial assets, such as endowment contracts or, in the interest of more efficient and centralised management, the capital of a family-owned company.

Intergenerational transfer upon the policy’s settlement

It is also possible to give the beneficiary of your life insurance policy the option of waiving the death benefits in favour of their own descendants. In this case the easiest solution would be to draw up a policy for each family line and individually designate:
• As first-ranking beneficiary, one of the children of the policyholder;
• As second-ranking beneficiary, the children of the child concerned (the primary beneficiary).
Upon the policyholder’s death, each child can either: 
• Accept in whole the proceeds of the death benefits;
• Waive the proceeds so that the death benefits are passed over to their own children, i.e. the second-ranking beneficiaries under the policy. 

It is the beneficiary’s decision whether or not to accept the death benefit, which in itself is does not constitute a gift or donation. Should the death benefits be subject to inheritance tax (for premiums paid over the age of 70), the tax rate will depend on the degree of kinship between the policyholder and the beneficiary.

An alternative solution that encourages intergenerational transfer is to draw up an option-based beneficiary clause. This kind of clause introduces more flexibility than the previous waiver option, as the beneficiary can choose to ring-fence their share of the capital to a number of available options. The balance will then be left to the second-ranking beneficiary. Even if the Minister's response of 22 September 2016 to Senator Malhuret appears to confirm the validity of option-based clauses, they remain infrequently used because of the complexity of their wording, as well as the reservations held by some insurance companies. It is recommended, therefore, to draw up and file this kind of clause with a notary.

The importance of carefully wording the beneficiary clause

The beneficiary clause may be amended at any time, either by formal amendment, a private agreement, or a notarially recorded deed. The policyholder has two options to ensure its conservation and therefore application:

  • If the chosen clause is straightforward and follows a template that poses no problem to the insurance company, it can be filed directly with the latter;

  • If the wording of the beneficiary clause requires specialised drafting and, where applicable, reinvestment obligations, it should be drawn up separately in the presence of a notary who will file it and give notification thereof to the insurance company.

Filing the clause with a notary will also link it to France’s central registry of wills (Fichier central des dispositions de dernières volontés - FCDDV), so that heirs are informed of the existence of the policies upon the settlement of the estate.

Generally speaking, second-ranking beneficiaries should systematically be included by noting in the beneficiary clause "à défaut, à mes héritiers” (failing that, to my heirs). In the event of the first-ranking beneficiary’s untimely death, this will prevent the capital from being integrated back into the estate, thereby subjecting it transfer duties on gifts.

In conclusion, you would be well advised to review your life-insurance policies on a regular basis to ensure that the beneficiary clauses are still consistent with your needs in terms of protecting your family and transferring your wealth.

Our experts at Societe Generale Private Banking work alongside your wealth advisors to assist you in making these decisions.



* article L132-13 of the French Inurance Code


This document is provided for information purposes only and is not contractually binding. The content of this document is not intended to provide personalised advice on an asset solution, nor a recommendation for setting up an asset solution, nor investment advice.

The information contained in this document does not constitute legal, estate, tax or accounting advice. The examples or simulations given in the document do not in any way guarantee future performance.

Any asset solution, product or service must comply with the Societe Generale Group's Tax Code of Conduct. Prior to any decision relating to the implementation of a wealth solution, it is necessary to seek the advice of one's external personal advisors.

The person to whom this document is given is informed that :

The cases mentioned in this document are examples only and cannot be used as a basis for setting up an operation,

The information mentioned may vary according to changes in the applicable legislation or regulations,

This document is intended for the personal use of the person to whom it has been given and should be read in conjunction with the background information on which it is based and the oral comments provided at the time of its presentation.

Societe Generale makes no commitment to update or amend this publication and assumes no responsibility in this regard. Any historical data and information contained in this document has been obtained from or is based on external sources that Societe Generale has not independently verified. This document is confidential, intended exclusively for the person to whom it is given, and may not be communicated or brought to the attention of third parties (with the exception of external advisors and provided that they themselves respect confidentiality), nor reproduced in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of Societe Generale.

This document is published and distributed by Societe Generale, a French bank authorised and supervised by the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution, located at 4 Place de Budapest, 75436 Paris Cedex 09, under the prudential supervision of the European Central Bank (ECB), and registered with the ORIAS as an insurance intermediary under the number 07 022 493 Societe Generale is a French société anonyme with a capital of EUR 1 066.714.367,50 as at 31 December 2020, whose registered office is located at 29 boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris, and whose unique identification number is 552 120 222 R.C.S. Paris. Further details are available on request or at