SocGen to close Bahrain office in cost cut move – Bahrain Freedom Movement

02/02/2012 – 11:48 p | Hits: 303

Feb 2 (Reuters) – Societe Generale’s private banking arm plans to close its office in Bahrain, it said on Thursday in the latest exit by a bank from the Gulf island kingdom, as France’s second-biggest listed bank aims to slash costs amid the euro zonecrisis.

SocGen will retain its private banking offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and is working with local regulatory authorities in Bahrain to ensure smooth transition of the move, a spokesman for the bank said from Paris.

“As part of measures to rationalize its organization, the private bank has decided to centralise its private banking activity in the UAE and close its Bahrain office,” the spokesman said.

He did not say if the move would result in job losses at the private bank. SocGen set up its Bahrain office in 2009.

Like many of its peers across the European bank sector, SocGen is cutting jobs and scaling back lending in the face of the euro zone debt crisis.

Last year, Credit Agricole decided to close its office in Bahrain, which has been hit by popular unrest, and move staff to Dubai, while BNP Paribas planned to move some of its back-office operations from the island kingdom. [

(Reporting by Dinesh Nair; Editing by Amran Abocar)

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