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French bank Societe Generale cutting jobs in London

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Societe Generale (SocGen) started cutting positions in London, adding to gloom in the city that's been hit by job losses at rivals including German lender Deutsche Bank.

[PARIS] Societe Generale (SocGen) started cutting positions in London, adding to gloom in the city that's been hit by job losses at rivals including German lender Deutsche Bank.

Dozens of job losses have already taken place at the French bank's London operations in recent weeks, including 30 positions in commodities, people with knowledge of the matter said.

SocGen's voluntary departure programme is kicking off in Paris with reductions set to take place over coming months, they said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private.

Chief executive officer Frederic Oudea is restructuring parts of SocGen's investment bank in an attempt to preserve its leadership in equity derivatives, focusing his efforts on fixed-income, and boost profitability.

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The bank in April announced plans to cut 1,600 jobs globally and exit capital-intensive businesses such as over-the-counter commodities trading.

Societe Generale isn't providing any further breakdown of job reductions by country or business beyond the announcements it made in April, a spokesman said.

In London, equities job losses may follow those in commodities, the people said.

The closure of SocGen's Descartes proprietary-trading business also added to the loss of trader jobs in the City on top of 10 positions in Paris, the people said.

Still, the French lender's redundancies are a fraction of Deutsche Bank's planned 18,000 cuts and include administrative workers at the Paris head office as well as traders.

The reductions cast another cloud over the City of London, already threatened by Brexit uncertainties and undermined by new technology replacing humans.

HSBC Holdings and Nomura Holdings are contributing to thousands of job reductions in the financial district this year. Cuts are mostly concentrated at non-US investment banks, with European lenders hobbled by weak domestic growth, negative interest rates and falling market share for years.

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