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Carnegie IT cuts may be just the start

Around this time last year Stockholm-based Carnegie Investment Bank was pledging that the jobs of all 300 employees of HQ Bank were safe following its acquisition of the ailing Swedish financial services operation.

This week, those words rang rather hollow as the combined bank announced it would now be shedding 100 positions during the coming year, primarily support and IT roles.

In an interview with the website Realtid.se, Carnegie head of communications Andreas Koch confirmed that over the next 12 months around 100 positions would be lost, “primarily in IT support and back office”.

Of these around 30 are expected to be lost from within its Swedish operations, the bank also confirmed in interim results published last week.

“In today’s uncertain market situation, companies are being forced to reduce their fixed costs in order to remain competitive. Accordingly, Carnegie has decided to reduce the number of positions in its Swedish IT and support operations. In total, some 30 positions will be affected,” the bank said.

Whether it ends there is a moot point, however. The results, for January to September, show the bank has already reduced its headcount in the period by 50 to 808.

More ominously, president and CEO Frans Lindelöw confirmed that in the past three months a decision had been made to focus the business much more on advisory and management services.

“Never is the need for competent advisory services greater than in periods characterised by uncertain economic outlooks. Carnegie has cutting-edge expertise in all of its areas of operation and strong prospects for strengthening its relative position during such turbulent times,” he said.

But as a result the bank would now be streamlining its Swedish securities business.

While no detail was given as to what this would mean for those currently working in this area the bank was clear there would be a gradual winding down of some operations.

“Carnegie will gradually discontinue the following operations in Securities Sweden: market making for derivatives, issuance of warrants and arbitrage trading. Carnegie will continue to conduct active market-making activities for its clients in the future,” it said.

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