On the 5th of January Societe Generale, a French bank, has announced to its unions to cut 880 jobs in its investment banking activities (BFI) in France in 2012 (13% of its workforce in France). 700 jobs will be cut in others countries. The bank will also freeze salaries of the top management, cut its dividend and reduce bonuses, according to the union CGT.
The management explained the cuts by the fact that the bank has to meet the European Union's new capital rules. This follows a previous announcement, on the 15th of November 2011, that it is to cut "several hundred" jobs in its French corporate and investment bank (CIB, 5,000 employees in France and 7,000 employees outside France).
On the 4th of January the management signed an agreement with the Group's most representative trade unions, outlining a series of social measures aimed at accompanying the restructuring. This agreement states that Société Générale will reduce its workforce without resorting to layoffs or forced departures. The plan will be based on voluntary departures and will give priority to internal mobility within the Group, with the support of a Reclassification and Job Advisory Area ("Espace Conseil Reclassement et Emploi"), enhanced training opportunities as well as help for the transition to new career opportunities. The plan will be presented in detail for information and consultation to the workers' councils, with a view to implementation as of the beginning of April 2012.