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Securest banks to work for given the circumstances

Our (highly subjective) opinion is given below. Let us know if you disagree.

1. Rothschild

Why? As an advisory house with no exposure to structured credit or toxic products, Rothschild hasn’t done too badly in the recent past. NM Rothschild, the group’s UK investment bank, actually had a fairly promising year last in 2008: it managed to turn a pre-tax profit of 28.5m, and earned a record 324.3m from advisory work.

2. RBC Capital Markets

Why? Like all other banks, RBC Capital markets hasn’t escaped the financial crisis unscathed, but it’s come through a lot better than most of its competitors. The bank’s fourth quarter results show full year net income in the capital markets division falling only 10% in 2008 to C$1,170 (684m). Moreover, RBC is building its European cash equities and wealth management divisions.

3. HSBC Global Banking and Markets

Why? Although HSBC’s shares declined sharply at the start of this week on expectations of a rights issue or shareholder dilution from government funding, the bank has come through the financial crisis relatively unscathed. It helps that HSBC has a strong presence in less affected markets in Asia.
The bank has recently committed to keep its global headquarters in London, although it cut 500 London investment banking jobs last September.

4. Standard Chartered, Wholesale Banking

Why? Although its share price has more than halved in the past year, like HSBC, Standard Chartered has benefited from a strong presence in emerging markets in Asia and Africa. The bank has been building up its wholesale banking business with hires from everywhere from Goldman Sachs to Lehman Brothers and ABN AMRO. Last October, it said it continued to see “strong and broad based income momentum” in its wholesale banking business.

5. Macquarie

Why? OK, Macquarie’s share price has fallen 64% over the past 12 months, first half profits were down 40%, and the bank is said to have made big cuts to some of its teams in London, but the Australian bank did at least make a profit for 2008. It was also a net hirer in the first six months of the year and has been building a European equities business.

A longer version of this article also appears on our Student Centre.

Comments (20)

  1. And the point of the article is…..?

  2. To stimulate debate, discussion, witty repartee on a Friday afternoon.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  3. Maybe to give people like you, Rex, the opportunity to make juvenile, inane comments like “the point of the article is…?” i think the last time that most people used such a phrase was when they were about 12. I think it’s quite interesting.

  4. Macquarie..you are having a laugh Sarah..unless you are an aussie that has been sent here ( and even then it seems to be a stopgap while those with the right paperwork sort out a role at another bank for themselves) Macquarie is hardly the sort of place that people aspireto.

    Rothschilds is a name from the past..very little to excite anyone there…check out the average age across the Bank…bet not many of them ever fill in triplicate order forms for a blackberry…unless thier kids can teach them how to work the “ruddy thing ”

    RB who ? thought they had disappeared

    HSBC O.K if you aspire to Retail Banking type roles, but want an office in the big smoke

    Standard Chartered…yeah decent people,slow but sure expansion..and probably will be around for the long long term..and have a gorgeous set of offices in Asia…must go my headhunter will get a call forthwith

  5. you missed all the boutiques out there which are incredibly safe – Sanford Bernstein, Redburn, and some restructuring houses.

  6. Interesting article
    agree with the boutiques (Weinstein Perella, etc) but would add also Lazard. 1. Rothschild: couldn’t agree more. I know some (young and dynamic) people over there who love the place and feel 100% safe.

  7. RBC…not liked by many in the market as they have the attitude and think theyre in teh same league as GS or something…wouldnt go there

  8. any thoughts on JPMorgan for a wannabe first year analyst in corp finance?

  9. @Student: I’d doubt that JPM – strong though it is – would be considered a secure place to work in, given that Jamie Dimon announced around 6,000 job cuts, mostly in the investment bank, by the end of the year.

  10. How about UBS? Product control?

  11. 1. Lazard
    2. Rothschild
    3. Close Brothers
    4. forget about the rest

    Party’s over Reply
  12. Thought of Barclays darling?
    6bn profits in 2008.

  13. Shariah-compliant banks are expanding with 5 new banks being incorporated in the GCC within the last 18 months.

  14. @GIllian – ??? 4,000 job cuts – share price 70% down in 2009 alone – good chance of nationalisation, mispricing of assets – please explain why you think thats secure?

  15. Bank of New York Mellon? OK, a custodian and asset manager predominantly but seems as though they have come through with moderate success…

    AssetManager84 Reply
  16. @ Gillian – totally agree with Still @ Lehman, you must be out of your mind!! The market has already decided it’s a good candidate for nationalisation and that it doesnt know hoew to price it’s assets…the only reason it does not need to raise capital is that the UK govt has reduced core tier 1 requirements!!!

    Stanchart is a great place to work and still seeing growth in profits despite the conditions…lots od new hires, and is picking up the “sexier” bsuiness now

  17. Prasad and Still@Lehman.
    Just wait and see … you put all UK banks in the same lot, but there are fundamental differences …
    oh and about the -70% share price, did you notice the +65% today?
    Why can’t the media tell the truth and explain that nationalisation of Barclays has never been on the plate … ?

  18. Banca di Sicilia.

  19. I have worked at Standard Chartered before, and unless you are Indian/Pakistani or, to a certain extent, white British then forget about it.

    The majority of middle management is made up of South Asians whereas the top management is made up of white British. The politics and ethnic favouritism are unbearable despite all the diversity propaganda.

    One other point, don’t ever expect great bonuses during the good times (which will be back sooner or later despite the doom and gloom), now they are preparing my former colleagues to accept that having their jobs is a bonus in itself even though the bank was profitable again this year.

  20. @Gillian “Barclays 6bn profit”. Let’s break down that number. Lehman write up (!). Fair value gains on their own debt issued (!). Structured tax gains from dubious SCM deals (!). Mispriced CDOs/CLOs on the balance sheet. The phrase “quality earnings” does not spring to mind.

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