As many thousands of former bank employees now know, it's difficult to go directly from employment and into redundancy: the UK government imposes a 'consultation period' of at least 30 days.
Until the consultation period is over, you won't be definitively redundant. And during the consultation period, you have a theoretical chance of either retaining your job or finding a new one at the same place. The Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform specifies that employers (banks) -
...would normally be expected to cover ways of reducing the redundancies, or of mitigating their effects. For example, consultation may cover alternative work patterns, job share proposals etc. The consultative process should continue until the issues have been aired and parties have had a reasonable amount of time to comment on information provided and the proposals or counter-proposals which have been made.
Outplacement providers who help bankers find new jobs recommend frantic internal networking during the consultation period. "It's all about redeployment. You need to sell yourself internally and network hard, which can be difficult when your confidence levels are low," says Linda Jackson, managing director of the City practice at Fairplace.
Miraculously, it seems that some bankers do actually manage to avoid redundancy. However, it's a privilege reserved for a select few. The head of HR at one US bank says a mere 5% of people get redeployed.
"If people are good, we do our best to move them internally," he says. "We have investment bankers who are suddenly very interested in global custody and private banking - they see them as a good second stage to their career."
The head of recruitment at another US bank says 5% may even be too high. "A company like ours will work damn hard to find people new roles internally," he says - before adding, "5% is probably on the optimistic side."