Helpfully, BNP has broken out where these will take place, both geographically and by division.
Of the 1,400 cuts, a mere 373 will happen in France, with a further 1,023 happening elsewhere. Insiders suggest that many of these redundancies will happen in London – despite the fact that BNP employs 5,500 people in its investment bank in France and just 4,000 in London.
Divisionally, fixed income and operations will bear the brunt of the redundancies. A table here, reproduced in text format below, shows that more than 50% of the redundancies will be in support roles and that a further 23% will be in structured products.
On the other hand, a mere 4% of the job cuts – 62 people – will be in corporate finance.
Lay-off France / Abroad
Financements structurés 116 / 202
Métiers Taux, change, dérivés 30 / 187
Dérivés sur action et matière premières BNPP SA uniquement 10 / 120
Corporate Finance 31 / 31
Couverture Clientèle et Management Pays 46 / 76
Fonctions support CIB 140 / 407
Total 373 / 1023
What can be concluded from this?
Firstly, that M&A bankers look comparatively immune to redundancies – at BNP and elsewhere. BNP has a comparatively small M&A team, which may help explain the comparatively small number of cuts in corporate finance. Equally, however, advisory businesses have the advantage of using small amounts of capital and may show signs of recovery next year – subject to a eurozone apocalypse being averted.
Secondly, that it helps to be in France and that it helps to be a member of a union. As ever, BNP’s redundancies are massively skewed overseas. Laurent Moreuil, an employment lawyer at SBKG & associés in Paris, points out that anyone making more than 10 redundancies in France must enter into a mandatory ‘employment safeguard plan’ with the unions, negotiations over which can be lengthy.
Unlike the UK, where investment bankers are rarely unionized, unionization is comparatively commonplace in France. Grégory Le Guenne, one of the union representatives at BNP says there are “lots” of union members at the corporate and investment bank in Paris. In October, bankers at HSBC in Jordan got an 8% pay rise after going on strike for a week. Militancy appears to pay off.