Profit hit Societe Generale builds global shared services centre

Societe Generaleis creating a global shared services centre in an attempt to dramatically slash costs.

The news comes as the French bank, which has UK headquarters in the City of London, this week reported first half profits fell by more than 80 percent to €31 million (£26 million), compared against the same period in 2008.

The new Global Technologies and Services (GTS) division will serve all of the bank's functions. These include retail and investment banking, and wealth management, with responsibility for 160,000 workstations, 25,000 servers, 200,000 telephones and all the corresponding data networks and services across the company.

Some 1,000 staff have already started working at the GTS division, based in France. GTS will be managed by the resources management team, and will contain employees from 40 countries.

Francoise Mercadal-Delasalles, resources director at the bank, said the move would help standardise processes and “improve operational efficiency”. It is one of the largest financial IT shared services centres in the world, the bank claimed.

The centre is part of an ongoing efficiency plan aimed at tackling the effects of the recession.

Last year, the bank also took a £3.6 billion hit after a rogue trader used his knowledge of the bank's fraud control systems to make a series of unauthorised and unsuccessful large bets on the market, undetected.

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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