French banking group Societe Generale announced plans on Monday to slash 947 jobs at its head office as part of a cost-cutting programme.

The group's new chief executive, Slawomir Krupa, presented in September a strategic roadmap that included reducing costs by 1.7 billion euros ($1.8 billion) by 2026 compared to 2022.

Societe Generale said Monday that five percent of its head office staff would be cut as part of organisational changes "to simplify its operations and structurally improve its operational efficiency".

The job reductions will be carried out "through internal transfers, end-of-year support or voluntary departures", the bank added.

In a message to staff seen by AFP, the bank said structural costs had to be reined in to bolster competitiveness and profitability.

One move in that direction is the bank merging its Credit Du Nord network under the SG brand.

The group will cut its branches significantly with 1,450 planned for 2025 down from 2,100 five years earlier.

Several unions expressed concern over cuts which had leaked in the media without management reacting.

"Where is the company's social responsibility?" asked Michael Plessiet of the CFTC -- the French Federation of Christian Workers.

The major CGT union federation's Philippe Fournil spoke of an "earthquake among workers" while Marc Durand of the hard left Force Ouvriere predicted further job losses to follow.

Fifteen years under Krupa's predecessor Frederic Oudea had seen their share of scandal, including the saga of rogue trader Jerome Kerviel, whose deals cost the bank 4.9 billion euros in 2008 after they turned sour.

Oudea's stewardship also included a $1.3 billion fine imposed in 2018 by the United States on charges the bank had violated US sanctions on Cuba, Iran and other countries.

Societe Generale employs 117,500 people worldwide, including 56,000 in France.