* Golubkov under house arrest for two months
* Oudea's bonus hike may also be in spotlight
* Rosbank confirms job cuts underway
PARIS, May 22 Societe Generale
management will face investors later on Wednesday for the first
time since the shock arrest of the French bank's top Russian
executive on charges of bribery.
The annual shareholder meeting is also likely to draw ire
over a rise in 2012 bonus payouts for top management after a
year that saw job cuts and a slump in profits at France's No. 2
SocGen has publicly reaffirmed its support for Russian
subsidiary Rosbank and has said the unit is operating normally
after its head Vladimir Golubkov was arrested last week in a
dramatic sting that was filmed on camera by police.
A judge has since ordered that Golubkov be put under house
arrest for two months.
SocGen Chief Executive Frederic Oudea will be under pressure
to further reassure investors about the bank's strategy in
Russia after spending billions on acquiring and restructuring
Rosbank with little to show in terms of profit.
Bankers familiar with the way Rosbank is run have told
Reuters that the unit has suffered from internal divisions
between Moscow and Paris and that SocGen has struggled to keep
the bank on a tight leash. The French bank has said it remains
committed to staying in Russia.
Oudea will likely also have to defend his decision to accept
a 75 percent increase in his bonus for 2012, with union
representatives saying they will picket the annual shareholders
meeting on Wednesday.
The bank is in the early stages of a drive to cut costs and
combine operating divisions to offset recession in France and
new regulations designed to make banks safer after the financial
SocGen has already briefed unions on a plan to cut more than
600 back-office jobs at its Paris headquarters. With revenue
growth drying up in its retail branches, there are likely more
in the pipeline.
It also plans to cut "hundreds" of back office jobs at
Rosbank, Bloomberg News reported, citing unnamed sources.
Rosbank confirmed in a statement that it was cutting jobs as
part of a previously disclosed "optimisation" process at its
head office, but did not disclose a figure.
(Reporting by Lionel Laurent and Ekaterina Golubkova; editing
by Patrick Graham)