Is BarCap the only big bank doing any real hiring?

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Black and blue.

Tomorrow is results day at Barclays Capital. As we considered a few weeks’ ago, Barcap might need to make a few redundancies. Like RBS, it’s massively increased its headcount in recent years. Unlike RBS, it has not announced a programme to alleviate itself of several thousand staff.

But despite various other people also thinking that BarCap needs to make some much deeper job cuts, headhunters in London say the bank is one of the only big hirers left.

“BarCap is the most active bank by some way,” claims the head of one recruitment firm. “They’re not making investment hires, but they are making replacement hires. Most other banks aren’t recruiting at all now and are seeing exits as an opportunity to reduce staff.”

A quick look at BarCap’s website suggests it’s got 50 vacancies in London, most of which appear to be in the middle office. On the other hand, most banks only advertise vacancies in their middle office, preferring to keep quiet about front office openings for strategic reasons.

The Wall Street Journal today points out that BarCap is failing to meet its revenue targets and has some hard choices to make.  It cites Jerry Donini, BarCap’s global head of equities, who appears resolutely bullish and says:

"We've outperformed our competitors, but there are still things we can improve and challenges to meet. As our competitors retrench, this creates additional opportunities for us to continue to take market share."

In January, one equities headhunter told us BarCap still has 15% of its equities hires to go.

“Their current demand is a drop in the ocean compared to what it has been,” says the head of the recruitment firm. “But they are at least being decisive and recruiting people, which is more than can be said for most places now.”