SocGen considers outsourcing 400 jobs

Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:17am EST
 
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By Lionel Laurent and Blandine Hénault

PARIS (Reuters) - Societe Generale (SOGN.PA: Quote), France's No. 2 listed bank by value, is considering outsourcing 400 back-office jobs at its corporate and investment bank, according to internal memos seen by Reuters.

The plan, in which consulting company Accenture (ACN.N: Quote) would take on staff working mainly in custody and securities services, could be extended to other businesses, such as broader financing, the memos drafted by management and unions showed.

"(It is) a project to transfer 400 jobs ... Accenture is asking that the transfer be mandatory," one memo drafted by the CGT union said, adding that cost savings had been estimated at 90-160 million euros ($115-205 million).

Investment banks across the world, including Switzerland's UBS UBSN.VX and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: Quote), are cutting jobs and overhauling business models to adapt to tougher regulations and the economic slowdown.

"There is a competitive advantage in pooling together investments," said a memo drafted by SocGen management to present its new plan. "We need to be the drivers because if we don't act, our competitors will."

STRIKE CALL

A SocGen spokesman said the bank was looking at a project with "an outside partner" to create a European back-office custody business that would offer services to rival banks.

He would not confirm the number of jobs affected, nor the possibility of expanding the remit of the plan.   Continued...