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Morning Coffee: Upset as FX bonuses widely withheld. Banks may be incentivized to hire under 25s

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If things weren’t bad enough in the foreign exchange (FX) market, they’ve just got a lot worse. The ‘FX fixing scandal,’ which has resulted in more than 20 FX traders being suspended or placed on leave, has rattled FX professionals globally. FX revenues plummeted in the first quarter according to analysts at Morgan Stanley. And now, the Financial Times reports that FX bonuses for 2013 are being withheld.

Barclays, Citi and RBS are all withholding bonuses for their FX teams while they investigate the fixing issue, says the FT. Withholding bonuses for suspended staff is to be expected, but the FT says it’s not just traders already under investigation for collusion and price-rigging who aren’t being paid, it’s everyone. Lawyers reportedly don’t want to single out staff who are already on leave when others could yet be implicated too. Therefore, everyone must suffer.

Separately, there was a time when the average age at JPMorgan in London was rumoured to be 23. The Sunday Times suggests banks could soon have an incentive to drive the age of their City employees down again. The British Chancellor George Osborne is reportedly contemplating lifting employers’ national insurance contributions on all employees aged 25 and less. For a junior banker earning £80k a year, employer’s national insurance totals nearly £10k annnually. Will banks be more likely to go for 22 and 23-year-olds as a result?

Meanwhile:

New York is now world’s leading financial centre, not London. (Financial Times) 

“London needs to act more like a Singaporean city state or have the backing of a European Union domestic economy.” (Bloomberg) 

Manny Roman’s pay at Man Group increased from $1,047,680 in 2012 to $3,397,163 in 2013. (Financial News) 

Axa Investment Management wants to hire 50 people globally, mostly in the U.S. and Asia. (Financial News) 

Nomura is the only bank that has fully integrated its equities and fixed income trading floors, says head of trading Steve Ashley. Cross-selling is up 50% as a result. (Financial News) 

“Can you handle a boss that one minute is yelling at someone about a multimillion-dollar loss and the next minute organizing a Chicken McNugget eating contest?”  (CNBC) 

What I look for when I’m hiring a trader. (Wall Street Oasisi) 

UBS tried to rig Hong Kong interest rates, but couldn’t manage it. (Dealbreaker)  

 

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