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Société Générale has onboarded 250 clients to use virtual reality to make meetings more productive and engaging – and expects to expand its usage next year.  

While the full promise of the metaverse remains distant, financial institutions like Société Générale and Deutsche Bank are experimenting with ways to use virtual reality to create stronger connections and more dynamic presentations.  

French banking giant Sociéte Générale started hosting client presentations for its investment bank in virtual reality about three years ago and hasn’t looked back:  

“First you have the ‘wow factor,’ and then you can use the format to present content in a way that’s really relevant and valuable,” SocGen’s Klaus von Massenbach told Insights Distilled. The bank has onboarded ~250 clients and hosted many meetings in VR through a platform from Arthur Digital, which lets it create dynamic meeting rooms and interactive presentations.  

According to von Massenbach, the format encourages personalization – “we make fewer slides that are more interactive and let us follow the road the client wants to take” – robust discussion – “the atmosphere breaks away hierarchies” – and focus – “you cannot read emails or WhatsApp next to it – so there’s even more focus than in a board room.” 

The technology also allows SocGen to bring its top research analysts to more clients in a very person-to-person way, without having to lose time hopping on planes or trains.  

This year, SocGen aims to start experimenting with virtual reality for more internal purposes, too, like HR or cross-team meetings. Similarly, Deutsche Bank recently announced plans to use digital avatars to help employees navigate internal systems or answer questions.  

“It can be one of the technologies where you break silos,” von Massenbach said. “It’s a new way to work together.”