French banking company Societe Generale has applied for a banking licence in Australia in an attempt to resume its onshore lending operations, an unnamed source told Bloomberg.

In 2010, the bank wound down most of its operations in Australia after it decided to move its foreign exchange and commodities trading to Hong Kong. The bank also relinquished its local deposit-taking license.

However, Societe Generale continues to operate an office in Sydney.

In another development, Reuters reported that the bank is also planning to reopen a branch in Australia.

The presence of a branch along with the banking licence will enable the French banking firm to raise local capital as well as restart lending operations in the country.

Since 2012, Societe Generale has not been listed as a licencee by the Australian banking regulator.

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The bank has been associated with the Australian renewable energy sector by lending to multiple projects through its Hong Kong offshore office.

Last month, Societe Generale reported that its French retail banking arm registered net income of €22m for the fourth quarter of 2017, a significant 94.5% drop from €402m in the previous year.

However, its international retail banking and financial services unit registered a net income of €474m, climbing 8.2% from €438m a year ago.