While JPMorgan drags its heels on Brexit, Bank of America appears to be going full throttle with its plans to shunt 200 front office jobs to Paris. Key BofA staff began moving to from London to the French capital in February and major players like Christian Ahrling (head of continental Europe rates distribution) are sitting in Paris as of this month.
To help induce its staff to move, BofA is reportedly offering between 30 and 60 days' temporary accommodation and $25k to cover commuting costs where necessary until the end of the school year. However, it might also want to draw attention to what might be shorter hours at its offices in continental Europe.
In Paris, for example, Bank of America is currently advertising for a vice president-level equity repo trader to work in its EMEA asset optimization group. The hours cited for this full time role are...35 per week. Similar working hours are given on a job ad for a strategist ("strat") in the Paris cross asset group, for an assistant on the Paris linear rates desk and for a quant developer in the Paris equity strategies group. Only BofA's job advert for a Paris-based head of global markets compliance and operational risk specifies longer hours - and at just 39 per week, these aren't exactly back-breaking either.
It's not just Paris. BofA is also looking for new people in Frankfurt. There, it's advertising for analysts and associates in its investment banking division (IBD) and the hours seem stangely clement. In London and New York, IBD teams at BofA and elsewhere are among the hardest working of the lot, with 70 hour weeks being common (the most recent Wall Street Oasis figures put the BofA average at 73.4 hours a week). In Frankfurt, by comparison, BofA says its IBD juniors will be working 39 hour weeks.
If this sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Bank of America declined to comment when asked about working hours in Germany. Nor did the bank elaborate when we queried what happens when juniors have to work for longer because of - say - live deals. The probability is that these are just BofA's standard job ad templates and that working hours in France and Germany are far longer in practice. Tellingly, some of BofA's UK and US ads specify similarly short working hours. The promise may not match the reality.
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