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Credit Agricole to Cut at Least 2,300 Jobs Worldwide, Union Says

Credit Agricole to Cut at Least 2,300 Jobs, Union Says
The headquarters of Credit Agricole SA stand in Paris. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Credit Agricole SA, France’s third-largest lender, plans to cut at least 2,300 jobs worldwide, mostly abroad and at its corporate- and investment-banking unit, a union official said.

“Credit Agricole is announcing piece by piece at least 2,300 job reductions,” Regis Dos Santos, national chairman of the Syndicat National de la Banque union, said by telephone. The firm is trimming about 1,700 jobs at its corporate- and investment-banking unit, including 500 in France, and 600 posts at the consumer-finance business, he said.

Anne-Sophie Gentil, a spokeswoman for Credit Agricole in Montrouge near Paris, declined to comment.

The lender would join BNP Paribas SA and Societe Generale SA in reducing corporate- and investment-banking staff. Credit Agricole is cutting fewer assets than its two larger French rivals after a dearth of U.S. short-term dollar funding hit European banks over the summer.

Credit Agricole may eliminate as many as 2,500 jobs in total, mostly at the division and whose international locations may be trimmed by half, Les Echos reported today, without citing anyone. The firm’s consumer-credit and leasing-and-factoring units would also be affected by staff reductions, the French daily said.

Ratings Cut

The bank’s board was set to meet yesterday, and the board of the corporate- and investment-banking arm gathered this morning to discuss the unit’s reorganization, a person with knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be identified because the plan is confidential. An announcement may come today, the person said, without providing more details.

Credit Agricole fell 4 cents, or 0.8 percent, to 4.49 euros by 11:41 a.m. in Paris, giving the bank a market value of 11.2 billion euros ($14.6 billion). The stock has fallen 53 percent this year.

Moody’s Investors Service cut the credit ratings of Credit Agricole, BNP Paribas and Societe Generale last week, citing funding constraints and deteriorating economic conditions amid Europe’s 2-year-old debt crisis. Moody’s lowered the long-term debt ratings of Credit Agricole and BNP Paribas by one level to Aa3, the fourth-highest investment grade.

Credit Agricole said on Sept. 28 it plans to reduce financing needs by as much as 52 billion euros, including between 15 billion euros and 18 billion euros at its corporate-and investment-banking unit.

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