The decisions by Nordea and Danske Bank last year to shelve 2,000 jobs apiece was initially viewed as disastrous for good reason. Banking jobs, in the front or back office, are not expected to grow in the Nordic region for next few years.
As we pointed to previously, Nordea’s job cuts are largely restricted to back office positions, but it’s unlikely the front office will escape entirely. Danske Bank hasn’t been as specific about where the cuts will occur, but last year’s expansion of its capital markets division could potentially mean there’s some fat to be trimmed in this area.
Investment bankers in the Nordic region certainly have some cause for concern. Being singled out for redundancy in such a depressed job market is not a good place to be, but headhunters insist that despite the tough conditions, there are still plenty of openings for those with the right skill-set.
Anders Mowé of Boyden Global Executive Search in Oslo, is relatively sanguine about the prospects for those leaving Nordic banks with the right background. He says: “Banking people will always be attractive people provided they have the right skills. We have a huge oil and gas sector that is booming, where there will be openings. The staff leaving Nordea may also end up in other areas of finance or corporates especially if they have a background in accountancy.”
Monika Dypeng, at Hermes Headhunting, also in Oslo, says: “We still have open positions within investment banking, but for very senior candidates only- very often with the purpose of covering a niche or simply to be an expert. During the last 12 months, we have experienced a decreased demand from investment banks but an increased demand from private equity.”