General view of a the logo outside a branch of French bank Société Générale in Paris
General view of the logo outside a branch of French bank Société Générale in Paris Sept. 13, 2011. REUTERS

Société Générale SA said fourth-quarter profit fell 89 percent as the investment bank was badly affected by Greek debt write down and toxic assets.

Meanwhile Frederic Oudea, chief executive officer of Société Générale, said to CNBC that the start of 2012 is better than expected due to the European Central Bank's long-term refinancing operations. I'm happy with the start of the year regarding capital-markets activity. I remain overall prudent for 2012, Oudea said. At the same time he emphasized there would be weak economic growth ahead.

Société Générale's net income for the fourth quarter plunged to 100 million euros ($131 million) from last year's 874 million euros. Net banking income fell over 12 percent to 6.01 billion euros beating forecasts for 5.81 billion euros.

Société Générale has been increasing the amount of money that it holds in reserve to meet bad debts. As it had already told the market it will not pay a dividend for 2011.

Société Générale is also cutting about 14 percent of its corporate and investment-banking workforce in France. In December it had appointed Didier Valet, chief financial officer since 2008, to replace Michel Peretie as head of the corporate and investment bank.