The Mail on Sunday apologized again to Société Générale for its August 2011 story about the financial institution and said it will be paying damages, according to Journalism.co.uk.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Société Générale is “France’s second-largest listed bank.”
The original Aug. 7 Daily Mail story claimed that Société Générale was “on the brink of disaster” and Unicredit bank was “in a ‘perilous’ state,” as we wrote at the time. The Daily Mail apologized August 9 for that story. The bank also published the original August apology on its website here, noting that the bank “categorically denied” the Mail’s original report.
Also at that time, wire service Agence France-Presse (AFP) published a story that suggested a relationship between French newspaper Le Monde’s fiction series on the “collapse of the single currency…against the backdrop of the French presidential elections” to the stock market news about Société Générale. AFP retracted its story about 12 hours after publication, as we wrote at the time.
We wrote in November when the bank said it would sue the newspaper for its report and criticized the placement of the apology. The bank added that the Mail on Sunday’s report “seriously injured…its reputation.”
The new March 24 apology reads:
“Société Générale – On August 7, 2011, we reported Société Générale was in dire financial difficulties because of its exposure to Greek debt, and that the French government was on standby to bail out the bank. We accept that this was untrue; the bank was not in serious financial difficulties, nor was it on the brink of insolvency or in line for a bailout from the French government. We have apologised to the bank and have agreed to pay damages.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, the bank said it plans to donate the money.
We have written to Société Générale for further comment and will update with any response.