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Friendly French bank cuts 70 people in the US by text

If you have the good fortune to be working for French bank Société Générale in France, then you'll probably be ok if you're fired. 

When it's dispensing with people on its home territory, SocGen has a reputation for handing out very handsome severance packages to encourage them to go away of their own accords. This is thanks to French employment laws that make large scale layoffs onerous and mean voluntary RiFs are the best bet. 

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In the US, however, employment is typically "at-will" and employees can be let go very easily. This might be why, when it lets go of people in America, SocGen seems to be less friendly.

Sources at SocGen say the French bank cut 70 people last week, and that many were cut by SMS text message. Affected individuals are understood to have received a message at 7.30am instructing them not to come into the office. This allegedly followed a management request that they put their cell phone numbers into their email signatures. 

SocGen declined to comment. The cuts follow SocGen's recent investor day, at which hard driving new CEO Slawomir Krupa cut growth targets and said he wants to focus on advisory businesses with low capital intensity.

Sources said the US cuts afflicted staff everywhere from Chicago, to New York and Jersey City and included people in the Transversal Securities team and in roles where there are overlaps with the Bernstein Research joint venture. 

Further cuts are possible before the end of the year. Unconfirmed reports suggest that SocGen's French US staff - who are possibly on French employment contracts - were unscathed. 

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Photo by Adem AY on Unsplash

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • ph
    photobug56
    5 October 2023

    They were nasty to work for years ago, and the French managers nasty to American staff. Mine smoked illegally in his office even while I was coughing from it. And the American managers were both nasty and incompetent. So this doesn't surprise me.

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