Fri, Dec 16, 2011 - Page 10 News List

French bank group Credit Agricole to cut 2,350 jobs

DOWNSIZING:The group said 1,750 of the jobs would be cut from its corporate and investment bank Cacib, with the other 600 to go from consumer finance

AFP, PARIS

French banking group Credit Agricole announced on Wednesday it was cutting 2,350 jobs around the world, but would still post a profit this year, although it would not pay shareholders a dividend.

“Against challenging market conditions, the Credit Agricole Group will post a profit for 2011,” it said, despite its main listed entity suffering a loss because of exceptional write downs of 2.5 billion euros (US$3.25 billion). The bank earned 3.3 billion euros in net profit for the first nine months of the year.

“The Board of Directors will propose not paying a dividend at the general shareholders’ meeting,” it added in a statement.

It said 2,350 jobs would go as it seeks to adapt to changing market and regulatory conditions, with 1,750 to go from its corporate and investment bank Cacib, which will now focus on distribution and serving major clients.

The other 600 posts are to go from consumer finance. Eight hundred and fifty jobs are to be cut in France.

Credit Agricole said it would raise its common equity Core Tier 1 capital ratio to 10 percent by the end of 2013, above the 9 percent required from European banks as of July next year.

It said it has also reduced its financing needs by over 9 billion euros, nearly a fifth of the 50 billion euros reduction it targeted in September. Credit Agricole, one of the biggest banks in Europe by capitalization, employs 160,000 people around the world, a third of them outside of France, while Cacib employs about 15,000 people globally, including 4,600 in France.

Like other French banks, Credit Agricole has been hit by its exposure to Greek sovereign debt in the eurozone debt crisis and last month revealed a 60 percent write-down of its holdings of Greek bonds.

BNP Paribas expects to cut 1,400 jobs globally, mainly in its corporate and investment bank CIB, unions said last month, while Societe Generale has also warned unions of plans to cut several hundred jobs.

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