France-based BNP Paribas and Societe Generale are considering reducing the size of their domestic retail banking operations to counter the slow economic growth and new regulatory curbs on risk-taking.

By downsizing their retail operations, BNP intends to save €2bn, while Societe Generale aims to save €900m by 2015.

Union sources familiar with the matter were quoted by Reuters as saying that both banks are at the primary stage of drawing cost-cutting plans, which might be implemented for many years.

The cost cutting initiatives will enable them to strengthen their balance sheets and improve post-financial crisis profits.

Sources familiar with the matter told the news agency that Societe Generale has informed employee unions that it will eliminate nearly around 190 job cuts at its French retail bank and 42 job cuts in transaction services.

BNP Paribas has notified labor representatives that the bank can shut down approximately 100 branches out of a total of 2,200 in France.

A BNP spokeswoman told the publication that they are planning one-off adjustments to network, such as closures or mergers.

"There is no overall plan for branch closures and our adjustments are done in accordance with our policy of no forced departures," he added.