* Cuts follow management shakeup at investment bank
* SocGen had already set 700 job cuts in U.S., Asia
* BNP and Credit Agricole also laying off investment bankers
By Christian Plumb
PARIS, Jan 4 Societe Generale
plans to cut some 880 jobs at the French unit of its investment
bank as part of a "voluntary departure plan," it said on
Wednesday, as it and rivals struggle through a liquidity crisis.
The layoffs represent roughly 7.3 percent of the payroll of
SocGen's investment bank, which has been forced to scale back
its global ambitions as the euro zone's troubles worsened.
The job cuts follow the bank's move last month to replace
its chief financial officer and the head of its investment bank.
The layoffs are the latest in a series of job cuts by French
banks in particular and lenders worldwide hit by market turmoil
and tougher capital rules.
SocGen, which has been one of the European banks hardest hit
by a short-term funding crunch that has forced it and rivals to
dramatically scale back on risk, had previously set plans to cut
700 jobs at its Asian and U.S. operations.
Domestic rival Credit Agricole said last month it
was cutting 2,350 jobs at its investment bank, while larger
competitor BNP Paribas said in November it would lay
off 1,396 at its corporate and investment bank, or 6.5 percent
of the division's staff.
Societe Generale shares have fallen 58 percent over the last
12 months as regulators raised capital requirements and
liquidity has dried up.
"The plan will be based on voluntary departures and will
give priority to internal mobility within the group," the bank
said in a statement, adding that the cuts would be implemented
-- after consultation with unions -- starting in April 2012.
France's No. 2 bank by market capitalisation, which has had
to scrap its dividend to bolster loss-absorbing capital, said
its retail bank would be unaffected by the cuts. Its investment
bank employs some 12,000 worldwide.