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Egg to cut 70 jobs

Holds talks about future of French ops

Egg is to cut 70 London jobs before the end of the year, reducing the Internet bank's UK headcount to around 1,700.

The restructuring will cost £5m and produce annual cost savings of £7m. Egg today reported an operating profit of £20 million in Q3.

Elsewhere, Egg responded to mounting speculation that the bank intends to cut its losses and pull out of France. It says it is in talks with potential partners to share the investment burden, but it has also kept open the possibility that be operation could be sold.

Said Egg: "We believe it is in the best interests of Egg's shareholders to form an alliance with a strategic partner and accordingly, we are in negotiations which may lead to a joint venture or other transaction. We anticipate that these negotiations will be concluded by the end of this year."

Despite the need for financial help, Egg remains "confident that there is an opportunity in France for a brand such as Egg to develop a valuable business and at the same time consistently provide French consumers with a better deal in banking than they have been used to," the bank said.

Egg France made an operating loss in Q3 of £20.8 million. ®

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