Mail on Sunday issues second apology to Société Générale for false story

As noted by Tabloid Watch, The Mail on Sunday this weekend issued a second apology to Société Générale for an inaccurate article last year that said the bank was on the "brink of disaster."

That report was suspected to have been the result of the paper misinterpreting a fictional summer series by Le Monde. As The New York Times explained:

The series, “End of the Line for the Euro,” looked at how a collapse of the single currency might play out, against the backdrop of French presidential elections next year. While the 12-part story was clearly labeled as fiction, it named real banks, like Société Générale, whose shares plunged 15 percent last Wednesday, prompting the bank to deny speculation that it was in financial trouble.

The Mail apologized for its story, but the bank went ahead and sued the paper in November 2011. So yesterday the Mail on Sunday apologized again:

In an article that appeared in the print edition and online version of the Mail on Sunday on 7 August 2011, it was suggested that according to Mail on Sunday sources Société Générale, one of Europe's largest banks, was in a 'perilous' state and possibly on the 'brink of disaster'.

We now accept that this was not true and we unreservedly apologise to Société Générale for any embarrassment caused.

It's not clear why the Mail chose to issue a second apology now.

Correction: This post mistakenly referred to the Daily Mail, rather than The Mail on Sunday, in two references. The offending article and resulting apology were both published by The Mail on Sunday.

  • Craig Silverman

    Craig Silverman ( is an award-winning journalist and the founder of Regret the Error, a blog that reports on media errors and corrections, and trends regarding accuracy and verification.


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