PARIS Societe Generale (SOGN.PA), France's No. 2 listed bank by value, is considering outsourcing 400 back-office jobs at its corporate and investment bank, according to two union memos seen by Reuters.
The plan, in which consulting company Accenture (ACN.N) would take on staff working mainly in custody and securities services, could be extended to other businesses, such as broader financing, the memos suggested.
"(It is) a project to transfer 400 jobs ... Accenture is asking that the transfer be mandatory," one memo drafted by the CGT union said.
A SocGen spokesman said the bank was looking at a project with "an outside partner" to create a European back-office custody business that would offer services to rival banks. He would not confirm the number of jobs affected, nor the possibility of expanding the remit of the plan.
The news was earlier reported by French investment newsletter L'Agefi.
Five of the biggest staff unions at SocGen have called for a strike on January 8 to protest against the threat of job cuts and salary freezes at the bank.
SocGen has spent the past year cutting costs and staff to slim down its balance sheet and replenish capital amid the grinding pain of the euro zone debt crisis.
It said on November 8 that it had completed its plan to reshape its investment bank, but it warned that the outlook for 2013 remained murky.
(Reporting by Lionel Laurent and Blandine Henault; Editing by David Goodman)