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Job cuts: is the worst still to come?

Now that Australia Day is over, 2009 can finally begin in earnest. But the banking sector might wish it was still on vacation – more bloodshed looms on the horizon.

Just how bad do you think the redundancies will be this year? Which banks will cut the deepest and which job functions are most vulnerable?

There is a feeling that banks have been holding back on further layoffs in the slim hope that January might bring some signs of hope in the financial markets. But as the local economy slumps and global banks post more staggering losses, are the redundancy floodgates now opening even wider?

MLC, the wealth management wing of NAB, has already started the post-holiday heartache by slashing 120 staff. This is a bitter blow for an industry already reeling from Q4 job cuts at Macquarie, AMP, Perpetual and ANZ, to name but a few.

But is the MLC move just a one-off, or a signal of more slaughter this summer? Is Australia the next New York when it comes to putting bankers on the scrapheap? Let us know your thoughts below.

Comments (11)

  1. The fact that the Big 4 banks dominate employment here in terms of headcount numbers, and that fact that they are still in comparatively good shape, means the job cuts won’t proportionally be on the same scale as US/Europe. There will certainly be cuts this year in australia, but proportionally there will be more in overseas markets. but that’s cold comfort if you’ve just lost your job!

  2. Macquarie are cutting week by week…

  3. It’s the best opportunity ever this year to move talent from finance into more worthwhile parts of the economy

  4. Banking-sector mergers, falling workloads and cost-cutting pressures will all combine to create the perfect storm in 2009 – thousands of jobs will go.

  5. Every day you hear about high caliber professionals leaving the company.
    Reviews are not helpful in this environment, but it does matter who you know, who stands behind you and NOT how much experience you have gained….. darkest days for bankers….worst to come.

  6. Due to the Big 4 Banks holding such a dominant position in the Aussie market, 2nd tier banks unable to fund deals and the internationals pulling out. None of the big Aussie banks can afford to let any front -ine revenue-generating bankers go because if they do they very simply will lose market share which will mean less revenue. In a market which has become so competitive, it just won’t make sense for them to let front line staff go. If they act commercially, they should re-invest into the business and expand their sales capacity.

  7. Banking or Financial Services employees will always be required. While now are very challenging times in these sectors they are also sorting out the good from the bad in relation to the local and overseas ‘sharks’ that have preyed upon the general public. I include Mortgage Brokers strongly in this analysis too. Let’s keep a positive outlook! Good people will always be in demand, even it it takes a little longer to locate the position you are looking for. Keep positive and good luck!

  8. I just got hired at a global having come back from New York. My view is that a lot of the firing is related to the companies wanting to weed out underperformers and also reduce numbers to meet headline politically pressures.

    Hang in there and stay strong.

    There is plenty of work and needs out there. Restructuring debt, new issuance and replacement of maturing debt.

    Better days are ahead. I’ll remember the people who treated us well during the tough times and those who didn’t.

  9. New York One,

    It would be good to chat to you about your experiences of coming back from NY and finding work in Australia.

    If you’re interested, please drop me a line: smortlock@efinancialcareers.com

    Many thanks,
    Simon Mortlock
    Asia-Pacific Editor

    Simon Mortlock Reply
  10. Im vice pres of a finance society at a uni in Sydney. From the impression I have gained, most trading firms are still ready to give out big cash to recruit graduate talent, so it’s not all grim news.

  11. IB’s pulling out, local capital markets closed, USPP market dead – what option does corporate Australia have but the Big 4? Lending margins will skyrocket in 2010 but costs will have to be held down in 2009 to mitigate the impact of shoddy lending of recent years e.g ABC, Allco. Banks will need to hang on to decent originators for next year.

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