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Societe Generale 'seeks added protection'

Societe Generale is attempting to protect itself amid fears over heavy exposure to Greece, falling shares and the possibility of a ratings cut.

Frederic Oudea, chief executive officer at the French lender - which has a history stretching back to 1864 - has announced a number of measures in an attempt to offload assets and drive down costs, the Economic Times reports.

However, the 48-year-old has come under criticism for his plans, which do not entertain any suggestion of a merger.

One industry analyst based in London noted Mr Oudea could have made greater strides in his attempts to add strength to the bank, observing the institute had not reduced its balance sheet or lessened its reliance on short-term funding.

However, Shailesh Raikundlia at MF Global commented: "It's a sort of spiralling crisis of confidence in terms of what the banking sector is doing altogether so I'm not so sure whether anyone at the helm [of the bank] can make a difference."

By Asim Shah