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Societe Generale may eliminate up to 700 jobs

French lender Societe Generale is planning up to 600 and 700 redundancies, as part of a widespread cost-cutting strategy to tackle slow growth in its home market.

In February 2013, the group reported that its net income was €774m for the year 2012, down by 67.5% from €2.38bn during the same period in 2011, putting huge pressure on the bank to rationalize its operations.

Three union sources were quoted by Reuters as saying that the bank’s management had called a meeting with unions to discuss on the proposals.

"Nothing is finalized but the proposals are fairly advanced," the source added.

It is expected that SocGen will cut most jobs at its back office in IT at its central office, where it has a workforce of 8,340 staff.

In order to minimize the impact of this planned job cut, the lender will try to recruit approximately 100 employees at any location or division.

Meanwhile, a SocGen spokeswoman said that the bank would seek to avoid forced layoffs and that it was "premature" to discuss reorganization plans when they had not been determined.

Societe Generale has a workforce of nearly 160,000 employees based in 77 nations, who manage 33 million customers throughout the world on a daily basis.

The group’s three core businesses include retail banking in France, international retail banking in Central & Eastern Europe and Russia, Asia among others and corporate and investment banking.