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SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE

Soc Gen ‘rogue trader’ wants €4.9b in damages

French rogue trader Jerome Kerviel has said he was trying to render meaningless the 4.9 billion euros in damages he owes to Société Générale by seeking the same amount from the bank in a labour court.

Soc Gen 'rogue trader' wants €4.9b in damages
Photo: Frédéric Houmber

Kerviel, convicted to three years in jail, said on RTL radio that he had filed a case in the Paris labour court seeking 4.9 billion euros ($6.6 billion) in damages from Société Générale.

He said the bank firing him in 2008 for gross misconduct had "implied that there was the intention on my part to destroy the company, which was never the case and which was proven" during his trial.

Kerviel was convicted of forgery and breach of trust for circumventing trading limits to amass 50 billion euros in open deals, which had threatened to bring down one of Europe's largest banks.

Kerviel had insisted that his managers knew what he was doing and turned a blind eye as long profits flowed in. The bank incurred the loss of nearly five billion euros when it quickly unwound Kerviel's trades before the market became aware.

Kerviel conceded the amount of damages he is seeking "is a bit ironic", saying he hopes a court analysis will show that he wasn't responsible for the losses the bank incurred.

"I want that figure verified because I believe that it is not a Kerviel loss," said the ex-trader on Tuesday. Kerviel added he wasn't seeking to be reinstated at the bank.

An appeals court rejected last October Kerviel's attempt to overturn his conviction. He remains out of prison while waiting for his case to be reviewed by the Court of Cassation, France's top appeals court.

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SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE

France’s Societe Generale to cut 1,500 jobs: report

French banking group Societe Generale is planning to cut 1,500 positions in its BFI corporate and investment banking arm, Le Figaro newspaper reported on Saturday.

France's Societe Generale to cut 1,500 jobs: report
Societe Generale CEO Frederic Oudea at the Climate Finance Day and Global Roundtable in Paris on November 26, 2018. Photo: ERIC PIERMONT / AFP
Citing internal bank documents, the paper said the bank was looking at two scenarios, both of which envisage 1,500 job cuts worldwide, with around 700 of them in France.
 
The company said in a statement on Saturday it was still reviewing activities in its corporate and investor client business so it was not possible to comment on the impact on jobs.
 
“We have an ongoing dialogue with our unions and will consult them on our projects and their impact as soon as the review is completed in the coming weeks,” the bank said.
 
French CGT union representative Philippe Fournil could not confirm the information, but said the bank's management had on Thursday indicated it was still reviewing activities within that business.