☰ Menu eFinancialCareers

Canadian banks for the Canadians, German banks for the Germans, American banks for the Americans?

Is the downturn encouraging a form of racial discrimination in which banks favour employees who are the same nationality as their head office?

Maybe so. According to Achim Beck, a German who worked at CIBC in London, CIBC is erring on the side of non-Canadian employees when choosing who gets the chop.

There have been similar rumblings of discontent at Dresdner Kleinwort, where it’s alleged that German-born bankers are favoured over all others. And Bank of America is withdrawing offers to non-US MBA students as a result of visa restrictions on US firms receiving government money.

One non-German banker at an increasingly German bank says such behaviour is to be expected: “Banks are pulling back to their core markets, so it’s inevitable that they’ll favour people of their home nationality.”

Jane Mann, head of employment law at Fox Williams says claims of racial favouritism are nothing new: “Bankers in London quite often think they won’t be able to progress because the core group are from the home country.”

But while Beck is taking CIBC to a tribunal, Mann says formal complaints of racial favouritism are rare. “It’s very difficult to prove and not the sort of claim you want to have on your record unless you’re very desperate and it’s the only thing you’ve left.”

We may have reached that stage.

Comments (9)

Comments
  1. “Is the downturn encouraging a form of racial discrimination in which banks favour employees who are the same nationality as their head office?”

    What on earth does RACE and NATIONALITY have to do with each other??? Nothing whatsoever.

    “Canadian banks for Canadians” – nationalistic, patriotic, perhaps but certainly not “racist”, given those Canadians could be blacks, browns, whites.. “Canadians” aren’t a race.

    Jeez.

  2. You are right Henry. I stand corrected.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
     
  3. go henry, go henry…!

    lol

    henry’s no 1 fan Reply
     
  4. Race is often confused in UK just like nationality and citizenship. But, it often relates to the Race Relations Act of 1976, and the term was used loosely here.

    And the answer to the subject question is “Yes”. Unfortunately, the world’s population becomes nationalistic when searching for self-preservation.

    Racial favouritism is not very difficult to prove. Just make sure you use a recorder more often than not and keep track of all the emails.

    Global_Citizen Reply
     
  5. If it has to do with trouble and cost associated with work permits and international assignments you can’t blame it on chauvinism on the bank’s part.

  6. On every bank application you’re obliged to fill a form with your ethnic origin which is even more specific than race. It never read such a thing as caucasian. Now the word British or Irish does appear there.

  7. anon: “If it has to do with trouble and cost associated with work permits and international assignments you can’t blame it on chauvinism on the bank’s part.”

    yes you can. because there is almost no trouble and cost in the UK associated with work permits and international assignments. and that’s for the old-style full-sponsorship permits, not the modern slick ones. HR depts like to flail about with horror, rolling their eyes and raising their voices re the AWESOME burden. total hogwash.

  8. Its the same thing as Gordon Brown’s British Jobs for British Workers initiative. In a downturn its expected that countries/ firms will revert to nationalism at the peril of other non-nationals who have made signifcant contributions to the growth/ development of the country/ firm in question…. Such is life! We deal with it

    Highly Skilled Migrant Reply
     
  9. Wished Gordon had been more thoughtful before he went about with his British job….. jargons. According to Sarah’s article you can easily pass him for a racist and excuse any firm or country (even the US) for protectionism.

    Oh Gordon!!

The comment is under moderation. It will appear shortly.

React

Screen Name

Email

Consult our community guidelines here