People and Business: Family matter for SocGen

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The Independent Online
ANY OF you rosbifs who assumed that Banque Nationale de Paris's hostile bid for its two banking rivals Societe Generale and Paribas represented a victory for Anglo Saxon business attitudes in France, dream on.

As with Joan of Arc and General de Gaulle, France has discovered its saviour in its hour of need: Yves Tuloup, head of global equities at SocGen, has formed "Action Against The Raid Of BNP".

The purely voluntary staff association has already attracted over 5,000 SocGen employees, mostly in France, Mr Tuloup says proudly.

They have all contributed a minimum of FFr250 (pounds 25) to a fighting fund "which will be used to communicate to the bank's shareholders how opposed we are to BNP's bid", he says.

Then he really gets into his stride: "It is perhaps surprising to the Anglo Saxon world that staff could feel so strongly a feeling of belonging to a bank, of family, of culture."

He insists that none of them feels superior to the people who run BNP - "That would be arrogant and stupid. However, we have already restructured our business for the arrival of the euro, and we don't want our efforts diluted."

If I were BNP, I'd give up today.