With 2016 trading revenues plunging (they're down 20% year-on-year at J.P. Morgan) and European banks caught in an urgent need to cut costs, it's hardly surprising that some banks are targeting their most senior and most expensive staff for layoffs.
Search firm Michelangelo claimed last week that 70% of the credit traders losing their jobs in London had more than ten years' experience. A quick look at the names coming out of Barclays recently confirms this to be the case.
The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Register shows Barclays parting company with another six staff in the UK over the past two weeks, all of them at director level and above. They include: Sylvain Lebre, director and head of credit index options trading, Nicholas Stockdale, head of the origination and CAPEX financing solutions group, David Bhagat, director and head of Japanese equity sales, Subash Chulani, a managing director in Asian equity sales, Hamish Crumley, head of global emerging markets sales trading, and Deborah Rees, head of emerging European sales.
Barclays' redundancies relating to emerging markets and Asia aren't exactly surprising. The bank is refocusing its business on its key markets of the UK and the US and is seriously trimming its Asian equities business. However, the lack of junior exits in both areas is notable. Either Barclays is clearing out the senior ranks first, or it's reassigning cheaper junior staff to other areas and dispensing with less flexible directors.
At Credit Suisse, the FCA departures are more evenly dispersed across the ranks. Recent exits include UK head Garrett Curran, whose voluntary departure to "pursue other interests" (he's creating a Kensington 'mega mansion', which was flagged by Bloomberg last month). They include Maciej Dyl, an associate in the European energy investment banking group who left of his own accord, and Shailen Pau, a trader under investigation for the manipulation of agency bonds.
While senior staff seem most vulnerable to European banks' prolonged cost-cutting, the implication from the latest round of exits is that no one's safe - especially at Credit Suisse, where Tidjane Thiam has promised to "step up cost cutting" in the light of a "particularly challenging environment."