June 22, 2017 / 10:25 AM / a month ago

CORRECTED-BNP Paribas to cut jobs in revamp of French retail banking arm

2 Min Read

(Corrects first and 5th paragraphs to say job cuts would come via natural attrition rather than voluntary redundancy)

* To cut 640 jobs in revamp of French retail bank unit

* French retail bank impacted by low interest rates

PARIS, June 22 (Reuters) - BNP Paribas said it will cut 640 jobs by end-2020 in its French retail bank via natural attrition, as part of a wider management reshuffle for a business grappling with low interest rates and stringent regulation.

French banks in general have been closing down retail branches and cutting staff, while investing more in the faster-growing online banking sector.

"The objective of this reorganisation is to reduce the number of decision-making chains and to concentrate decision-making powers closer to the needs of the customers," said a BNP Paribas spokesman on Thursday, following a report on the plan by French newspaper Le Monde.

Revenues at BNP Paribas' French retail banking networks fell 3 percent in 2016, and fell 1.4 percent in the first quarter of this year.

BNP Paribas said it was discussing the job cuts plan, that would come via natural attrition, with French trade unions. The French retail banking unit employed around 29,000 people in 2016, according to the bank's annual report.

The bank declined to comment on how many people would be impacted directly by the management revamp.

The presentation of the plan comes after the bank outlined its strategy during an investor day earlier this year.

BNP said then that it wanted to reduce its cost to income ratio - a key measure of profitability - in the retail bank business to 70 from 73 percent by 2020 through a "digital transformation, simplification of the organisation and streamlining of the branch networks". (Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Elaine Hardcastle and Adrian Croft)

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