SocGen mulls massive branch closure programme

SocGen mulls massive branch closure programme

Societe Generale is contemplating closing one in five of its branches in France over the next five years, joining the ranks of European banks downsizing their high street presence as more customers go online.

News of the plans were first reported by financial newspaper les Echos, quoting unidentified sources from labour union Force Ouvriere.

The paper says that the bank wants to accelerate a branch reduction strategy that was kicked off this year with the closure of 40 branches. A one-in-five reduction would see 400 more branches culled from the bank's 2221-strong branch network in France.

SocGen would not confirm the plans, telling Reuters: "We will present a detailed plan of our new 2020 model, including information on our branches, before year-end."

The news comes a week after the bank announced plans to cut 400 staff over the next two years as part of a strategy to shave EUR850 million off its annual running costs.

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