Posted on Nov 8, 2020 at 3:31 PMUpdated Nov 8, 2020 3:41 PM
Societe Generale continues to downsize in its market activities. According to our information, the group is due to announce on Monday the elimination of around 650 jobs in France, mainly in the Financial and Investment Banking (CIB) division, which has been concentrating the difficulties for several years.
These new cuts in the workforce, the majority of which are located in the Paris region, come indeed barely a year after the elimination of 1,200 positions in this same division, worldwide. They could also be followed by staff reductions in retail banking with the proposed merger between the Societe Generale and Crédit du Nord networks. When questioned, the bank declined to comment on this information.
A meeting was held with national union representatives on Friday to outline the details of this restructuring plan, which will be presented to all employees on Monday. The management represented by Séverin Cabannes, the boss of the CIB, who will leave his post on January 1, and Caroline Guillaumin, the director of human resources and communication, assured staff representatives that no departure would be forced. Voluntary departures and internal reclassification should be given priority.
450 million savings plan
According to our information, the workforce concerned mainly represents the support functions (back office), but nearly a hundred traders could also be targeted by the plan. In detail, market activities pay the heaviest price, with around a third of the jobs being eliminated. The SGSS division, Société Générale Securities Services (management, custody and administration of securities), which notably has an office in Nantes, will also be affected (around 160 positions), as will the compliance businesses (around 140 positions). Cross-functional functions (human resources, communication, etc.) will also see their staff reduced.
These job cuts are part of the 450 million euros savings plan announced this summer, on the occasion of the publication of the second quarter results. After having taken the heaviest loss since the Kerviel affair in 2008, the bank announced the need to restructure its CIB again, penalized by the dislocation of the markets with the health crisis.
This restructuring must notably involve a reduction in the risk profile, with the discontinuation of certain complex structured products – the strategic review is still in progress – and measures to continue to reduce costs.
In the third quarter, Societe Generale returned to profit, notably thanks to the upturn in performance in its market activities, and the first effects of the decisions taken. The unions remain bitter. ” It’s hard to understand the strategy. By further reducing resources on the markets, we limit our ability to diversify and therefore we concentrate more risks », Fears a staff representative.