Since 1991 In recent years the group has focused on developing its activities around three core businesses through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions. In the area of commercial banking, was strengthened in 1997 through the acquisition of Cr dit du Nord, highlighting the determination of the restructuring group of leading French banking system. At the same time, Soci t G n rale has been directed to long-term customer loyalty. In 1999 participates in the battle for the purchase of the bank Paribas, but will be defeated by a competitor, the Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP), which will be renamed BNP Paribas. In 1998, Soci t G n rale became commercial banks abroad that had a separate division, underlining the group’s decision to make this business one of its strategic development.This activity also strengthened in 1999 through acquisitions in Romania (BRD – Groupe Soci t G n rale), Bulgaria (Soci t G n rale Expressbank) and Madagascar. He has also made acquisitions in Central Europe (Komer n banka in the Czech Republic and SKB Banka in Slovenia) in 2001. At the time, starred bank scandal after being accused of participating in an alleged money laundering scam in which they were involved HSBC, Societe Marseillaise de Cr, Barclays and National Bank of Pakistan. Africa is also a major area of interest to the bank with the purchase in 2002 of the Moroccan bank Eqdom (leading consumer loans) and the Union International de Banque in Tunisia. Also will buy 51 of the SSB Bank in Ghana in 2003 and 50 of Greek Geniki Bank in 2004.In terms of specialized financial services, established in mid 2001, a department, through the purchase of two subsidiaries of Deutsche Bank, ALD Automotive (for leasing and financing) and GEFA (for sales finance companies), which allowed Soci t G n rale to boost its European presence in these sectors. In 2002, pursued its external growth strategy through the acquisition of Hertz Lease European subsidiary specializing in long term leasing and fleet management of vehicles of Ford Motor Company.