(Bloomberg) -- Societe Generale SA is drawing up plans to cut jobs at its investment bank and find a partner for its cash-equity business, in a bid to offset increasing cost pressure from regulation, people familiar with the matter said.

The bank could cut hundreds or even thousands of jobs at its global banking and investor solutions unit, including roles in support functions such as finance and human resources, one person familiar with the situation said, declining to be identified because the matter is confidential. Management are still weighing up which parts of the business would bear the reductions, they added.

Societe Generale declined to comment.

SocGen’s GBIS unit has more than 20,000 employees. One of SocGen’s main French labor unions said Feb. 8 that the bank is bracing for “important” cuts to trading jobs. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea has said it’s too soon to comment on any headcount decisions.

The Paris-based group is seeking to cut 500 million euros ($567 million) of costs and review less profitable investment-banking activities after a grueling fourth quarter. The organisation said earlier this month that the reductions would focus on some fixed-income and currencies activities.

The bank has so far resisted the trend in France to hive off cash equity and research. However, it is now considering options to set up a joint venture, the person said.

Finding a partner for the stock brokerage business may take weeks or months, and keeping it within the group would be the default solution, the person said.

Several new ventures in equity brokerage could serve as a blueprint. Kepler Cheuvreux SA has partnerships with European banks including Credit Agricole SA to secure distribution of its research. Franco-German banking group Oddo BHF struck a deal with Natixis SA in 2017, which left French equity brokerage and research activities with the former, while the latter took on capital markets.

The reshuffles came as the European Union’s MiFID II directive forces brokerages to charge clients separately for research and trading, leaving smaller players under pressure to consolidate.

To contact the reporter on this story: Fabio Benedetti-Valentini in Paris at fabiobv@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net, Marion Dakers, Ross Larsen

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