There is pain in Hong Kong and pain in Tokyo. Deutsche Bank is reportedly cutting 45 jobs in Tokyo and 40 jobs in Hong Kong. Equity research, sales and trading are being hit, with equity derivatives in Hong Kong singled out for particular attention.
The Asian job cuts will be taken as more proof that Asia isn’t laying the golden eggs it was supposed to lay. Banks that have built Asian teams in recent years are being forced to make hard choices and undo their handiwork.
And yet, while all eyes are on Deutsche’s cuts in Asia, senior headhunters in London say far, far bigger cuts are taking place here.
“People have been saying that Deutsche will cut 750 people in London this week,” says the head of one search boutique. “I understand Deutsche is getting rid of 1,000 people in London this week and next,” says another. “It will be across the board.”
Deutsche was unable to comment within our time frame. In the second quarter, the bank achieved an 87% cost income ratio in its corporate and investment bank, prompting it to announce 1,500 job cuts in July. Many of these were expected to fall in London and New York.
Although Deutsche says it only employs 14,450 people at its corporate and investment bank, analysts have questioned its headcount figures, which don’t include back office staff allocated to bank-wide ‘infrastructure functions’. When the correct headcount is assigned to the corporate and investment bank, JPMorgan analysts claim Deutsche actually employs 36,000 people, making it one of the largest banking employers in the world, and explaining why it needs to cut headcount.