Societe Generale to slash costs and jobs after profits plunge

 
Tim Wallace
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FRENCH bank Societe Generale plans to cut costs and jobs to shore up profits after earnings fell 50 per cent in the first three months of the year, the lender said yesterday.

Profits came in at €364m (£308m) for the first quarter, down 50.3 per cent on the €732m in the same period of 2012.

Group return of tangible equity fell from 7.9 per cent a year ago to 3.2 per cent in the first quarter.

The bank has sold units in countries like Greece in recent years to re-focus on its core markets. But further cost cuts are necessary. It plans to trim expenses by €900m per year by 2015, including by cutting an estimated 600 workers.

The bank is believed to be in talks with unions over chopping the staff at its Paris headquarters.

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