SocGen French Union Braces for ‘Important’ Hit to Trading Staff

(Bloomberg) -- One of Societe Generale SA’s main French labor unions is bracing for an “important” hit to headcount in trading after the bank announced 500 million euros ($570 million) in fresh cost reductions.

The cost-cutting effort will mostly affect fixed-income activities and associated support functions, SocGen’s French CGT labor union said on a web posting Friday, following a meeting with Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea.

“No one doubts that this may generate a very significant pullout from these activities,” the union said.

The bank’s top management contacts unions regularly and the meeting today is part of a “constructive dialog” established over several years, a SocGen spokesman said. Oudea said earlier this week that its too soon to comment on any job cuts at the investment bank.

“The impact on employment will certainly be important, but we don’t yet have further insight on this,” the union said in a web posting. CGT also criticized the bank for its “inability to generate more activity and revenues.”

SocGen Thursday announced that it’s shrinking its markets unit and planning the additional cost cuts after revenue at its fixed-income, currencies and commodities trading business fell 29 percent in the fourth quarter.

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