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France's third-largest bank SocGen slashes 1,500 jobs

Société Générale's headquarters in the La Defense business district, west of Paris, 28 November 2017.
Société Générale's headquarters in the La Defense business district, west of Paris, 28 November 2017. Photo: Christophe Simon/AFP

French bank Société Générale is set to slash 1,500 jobs in its corporate and investment banking business, according to the Le Figaro newspaper. The bank is planning for two scenarios which both expect 1,500 jobs to be cut in France, Europe, the UK, the US and Asia.

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Around 700 of the job losses would be in France, according to an internal company document cited by Le Figaro. The cuts represent 7.5 percent of the workforce within the corporate and investment banking arm.

A statement from Société Générale said it would not be possible to comment on the job losses as it was still assessing business within the corporate and investor client business, the AFP news agency reported.

"We have an ongoing dialogue with our unions,” said Société Générale, adding that it was consulting with trade unions on the impact of its projects and would talk with them when a review was brought to a close in the coming weeks.

The CGT trade union could not confirm the information, but said it was expecting hundreds of jobs to go.

“We expect hundreds of job cuts, if not more, in France and abroad,” said CGT representative Philippe Fournil, according to Le Figaro. “All employees – from traders to stock sellers for example, are worried,” he added.

The cuts are part of the bank’s strategy to reduce costs by 500 million euros as announced by Société Générale in its financial results earlier this month.

The French bank reported 2018 profits ahead of expectations, but also signalled potential financial challenges in the future and said it would adjust its targets accordingly.

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