France?s Societe Generale trims network in Greece

Geniki Bank, the Greek unit of France?s Societe Generale, plans to cut staff and branches to reduce costs after its loss almost quadrupled last year, it said on Wednesday.

The lender will keep over 100 branches and move ahead with a headcount reduction, it said in a presentation to analysts, without providing any further details.

At the end of last year, the company was operating about 117 branches.

Rising provisions for bad debts and falling net interest income last year pushed Geniki Bank?s net loss to 408.6 million euros, from 106.5 million euros in the previous year.

The bank plans to develop its private banking arm and focus on affluent clients, it said.

On the spending side, Geniki says it will trim expenses by exercising stricter risk policy and investing ?significantly to recover part of doubtful loans.?

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