* Eyes cost cuts in back-office, IT
* Some investment bank retirees won't be replaced
* Attrition also eyed to cut staff at savings banks
PARIS, Dec 20 French lender Credit Agricole
has told staff representatives it will focus on
cutting costs at its investment bank without a new layoffs plan,
Credit Agricole is seen as the weakest of France's listed
banks in terms of capital strength and made deep cuts to
investment bank staff and costs earlier this year.
Staff representatives say they have met with management
twice this week over future strategy.
"There will be no new layoffs plan, the focus is on finding
other cost savings over the next three years," a source who
attended a meeting on Thursday said.
There will be a focus on savings to back-office and IT
costs, on finding cheaper real estate and on non-replacement of
retirees, the source said.
A union representative told Reuters that management said
there was no layoffs plan in the works but management had been
vague in a meeting earlier this week.
"They were vague and said the bank was concentrating on
broad cost reductions," he said.
The effort to cut costs through attrition will not be
confined to the investment bank, a separate union source said,
adding that not all departing staff at the lender's regional
savings banks would be replaced either.
Staff at the regional banks could be cut by about 1,400 in
2013, the source said, citing documents provided by management,
showing that only 2,707 people would be hired to replace
departing staff estimated at 4,125.
The regional savings banks employ 66,375 workers on
A spokesman for the regional banks, which are cooperatives
which jointly control the listed Credit Agricole SA unit, said
the figures were only rough estimates and that it was not the
first time the bank had trimmed jobs through attrition.
(Reporting By Lionel Laurent and Christian Plumb; editing by