French banks start cutting US employees

French banks start cutting US employees

PARIS - Agence France-Presse
French banks start cutting US employees

Pedestrians walk by branches of major banks in Rennes, western France. AFP photo

French banking giants BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and Credit Agricole are currently slashing about 1,000 jobs in the United States largely due to difficulties in raising dollars, a report said yesterday.

Diony Lebot, chief executive of SocGen Americas, told French daily Les Echos the layoffs were dictated by the tightening of banking credit requirements and “the reduction of our financing in non-securitized dollars.”

‘Layoffs are brutal’

A French banker based in the United States told Les Echos that the layoffs had been “particularly brutal” in the past few weeks.

The U.S. branch of Societe Generale has already reduced 20 percent of its 2,000-strong staff in New York, the newspaper said.

BNP Paribas, which had announced layoffs in November, is expected to cut 10 percent of its staff of 3,000 in its New York office, the paper said.

Credit Agricole has said it expects to slash 1,200 jobs outside of France though the newspaper did not report how many of those would be in New York.

French banks have been hit hard by their exposure to sovereign debt from eurozone strugglers like Greece and Italy and an increasing skittishness by American lenders to provide them with short-term financing in dollars.