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November 9, 2020

Societe Generale to slash 650 jobs in France amid rising cost pressures

French banking group Societe Generale has reportedly decided to lay off 650 people in its home market as part of its restructuring plan to cut costs.

The move will mainly affect the bank’s corporate and investment banking (CIB) division, the French business newspaper Les Echos reported.

The group will notify its employees regarding the same on 9 November 2020. The new cuts will affect most of its workforce in Paris.

The affected staff are mainly from the support functions such as back office, however, nearly 100 traders could be laid off as well, the report added.

The Societe Generale Securities Services (SGSS) division will see around 160 positions being reduced, while 140 positions will be affected in the compliance businesses.

The SGSS division deals in management, custody and administration of securities.

Additionally, the bank’s cross-functional functions such as human resources, and communication, among others, will also see their staff headcount reduced.

The latest redundancies follow a year after the bank reduced its global headcount by 1,200 people in the same division.

These job cuts are a part of the bank’s €450m savings plan, after posting losses in its 2020 second-quarter results due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Les Echos report added that the cuts could also be followed by retrenchments in its retail banking arm as a result of its proposed merger with Crédit du Nord networks.

Societe Generale has returned to profit in its third-quarter due to performance recovery in its market activities.

Union representatives comment

Societe Generale has outlined the details of its latest restructuring plan with national union representatives, last week.

Accordingly, CIB boss Severin Cabannes is set to leave his post on 1 January 2021.

Moreover, Societe Generale human resources and communication director Caroline Guillaumin has assured staff representatives that there will no forced layoffs.

The bank will prioritise voluntary departures and internal reclassification.

However, commenting on the move, a union representative said: “It is hard to understand the strategy. By further reducing resources on the markets, we are limiting our ability to diversify and therefore we are concentrating more risks.”

Recent job cuts

Last week, HSBC axed 100 senior-level jobs at UK retail banking arm.

Dutch lender ING shrank its workforce by 1,000 amid rising cost pressures.

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