HSBC’s results are out. They are good. In a quarter in which profits at Morgan Stanley’s investment bank collapsed year-on-year, profits at HSBC’s global banking and markets division were up 5%. Ok, revenues were down 2%, but that’s a negligible decrease in light of the 9% fall in overall revenues at – say – Goldman Sachs.
HSBC is cutting 30,000 jobs by eliminating middle management. Since December 31st it’s cut 16,387 people globally from all its businesses. It intends to make further cuts by means of, ‘efficiency gains,’ within its trading and operational platforms.
However, this does not mean that HSBC has not been hiring. Nor does it mean that HSBC will not hire in future.
If you want to work for HSBC, these are its strategic priorities now:
HSBC has compliance issues. It is spending more on ‘compliance infrastructure’ and increased its global compliance spend to, ‘over $400m last year,’ according to Stuart Gulliver. Neverthless, it’s only advertising 4 compliance jobs in Europe at the moment.
2. Client coverage
HSBC wants to reinforce its ‘client coverage and client-led solutions’ business for, ‘major government, corporate and institutional clients.’ It’s created a new corporate finance group to, “proactively engage with client coverage and solution teams to strengthen the financial advisory and financing event business by providing holistic advice to customers.”
From this we deduce that it may want to hire client coverage specialists.
3. Specific emerging markets
Despite wage inflation, HSBC cited emerging markets as an important source of growth for its global banking and markets business. Specifically, it’s focused on expansion in China, India, Brazil and Argentina. However, its own headcount figures reveal cuts to staff numbers in these markets in Latin America and Asia and hiring in the Middle East and North Africa.
Like its counterpart at Credit Suisse, HSBC’s rates business is having a good year. Rates revenues were up nearly 67% year on year in the second quarter. HSBC said its European rates revenues were particularly strong thanks to the, “LTRO, which resulted in improved liquidity, tightening spreads and increased customer demand.” However, it does not appear to be advertising any rates jobs at the moment.
4. Cross regional sales professionals
HSBC says it’s created cross regional sales teams in its global markets business. These are ‘partnering with global product teams’ already established in each region.
While the implication appears to be that regionally focused sales professional are no longer necessary, pan-regional sales professionals are likely to be popular at HSBC. Send in your CV if you have an international client list.
5. Structured trade finance
We suggested there might be jobs in trade finance a few weeks’ ago. HSBC says it’s been hiring for its trade finance business and that its expansion here is ‘gathering momentum.’ It aims to double its trade finance revenues to $5bn in the medium term and now has 55 staff globally.
Meanwhile, this is where Credit Suisse is going to be cutting staff
Meanwhile, as a follow-up to last week’s article on Credit Suisse’s results, we’d like to draw your attention to where the Swiss bank intends to make cost savings in future. As stated in its investor presentation, the focal points for CS headcount reduction will be:
1. Advisory and underwriting staff
Credit Suisse wants to, “rationalize” and “streamline” its advisory and underwriting professionals. Ominously for any non-client facing investment bankers working for Credit Suisse outside the UK or Hong Kong, it also wants to “consolidate execution resources” into hubs in the UK and Hong Kong. It also appears to want to combine coverage teams so that it has fewer country/product/industry specific coverage bankers.
None of this sounds particularly promising if you’re an investment banker at Credit Suisse.
2. Non-key markets in Asia Pacific
Job cuts are coming to Asia. Job cuts are also coming to Credit Suisse in Asia. In Asia, Credit Suisse wants to focus on the “largest markets with distinct competitive advantage,” the implication being that it will give upon on smaller markets where it’s an also-ran.
Structurers are going to be culled at Credit Suisse. The bank wants to, “integrate structuring capabilities across advisory & underwriting, Equities & Fixed Income for efficient product delivery.”
This sounds like a euphemism for redundancies.
Credit Suisse plans to: “Continue to leverage leading equity technology platform to further drive efficiencies.”
This sounds like a euphemism for redundancies too.