The French have suggested everyone gird their loins for big-ish cuts.
BNP Paribas, France's No. 1 bank, told shareholders it expects a "significant" drop in staffing levels in its home market as it moves to offset the shrinking economy. BNP, which is highly exposed to mature European markets, is in the early stages of a plan to cut 2 billion euros ($2.57 billion) in annual costs over the next three years and is set to launch a new Europe-wide online bank. "Our employee levels will go down in France this year," Baudouin Prot told the bank's annual shareholder meeting. BNP will present its plans to unions next month, Prot added.