Profits at French banking giant Societé General might have taken a dramatic tumble recently but no one can accuse them of not having made savings when it comes to their payroll.
Figures released this week revealed how much the bank, whose first-quarter net profit for 2013 fell by half to €364 million, has relied on unpaid interns, known in France as “stagiaires”.
According to a study by French online magazine BastaMag SocGen employed no fewer than 11, 214 interns in 2011. To put that figure in perspective 11, 214 represented 26.7 percent of the overall workforce of 42,102 at the bank.
And to give it further context, SocGen’s French banking rival BNP Paribas employed just 2,766 interns in the same year out of a total workforce of around 46,000.
Perhaps the figures are simply a sign of how badly things have got for SocGen.
Earlier this month the bank said it needed to make €900 million savings by 2015 which would result in the loss of more than 1,000 jobs worldwide.
The cost cuts are in addition to cuts of €550 million effected last year.
General manager Jean-Francois Sammarcelli, when asked on French BFM Business radio if the bank expected to shed more than 1,000 jobs, replied that the figure would be substantially higher.
He said that the cuts would include the loss of about 550 jobs at the bank's headquarters in Paris.