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Societe Generale cutting 1,600 investment banking jobs in London, Paris, and New York

Oscar Williams-Grut
Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
The headquarters of French bank Societe Generale in London. Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

French lender Societe Generale (SGE.SG) has confirmed plans to cut 1,600 investment banking jobs globally as part of a turnaround plan.

SocGen announced the reorganisation on Tuesday, saying it would help the lender reach a “more focused business model [that] would enable to strengthen its consistency and the Group’s strategic positioning.”

It said 750 roles are to be cut in France, pending consultations with unions. The rest of the job losses are understood to fall mainly on London and New York. Bloomberg first reported the plans to axe the jobs last week.

The Group will concentrate its wholesale business model on its areas of strength where it has sustainable and differentiating competitive advantages,” the bank said.

The job cuts are in SocGen’s investment banking division, which has been struggling to make money and employs about 20,000 people globally.

Revenue at the investment bank fell 19% in the fourth quarter of 2018 after a difficult year. Data provider Refinitiv estimated in a report this week that SocGen’s investment banking revenue fell 31% in the first quarter of 2019 to $21m. SocGen ranked 25th out of 25 globally in the fourth quarter, according to Refinitiv.

European and Asian investment banks have been struggling to maintain global footprints in the post-financial crisis era, as US banks consolidate their positions. Deutsche Bank is currently considering a merger with national rival Commerzbank in a bid to protect its scale, while Japanese lender Nomura recently announced plans to cut 100 London jobs.