If you thought banks had stopped making redundancies, you were wrong. Some firms – Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and UBS – increased headcount in the first quarter of 2015. Overall, however, the direction for headcount was down.
In Q1 this year, 1,900 people in front office jobs were shown the door, according to new figures from financial services research firm Coalition – this is despite headcount stabilizing in the second half of last year when just 200 jobs were lost.
As the chart below shows, traders and salespeople in banks’ capital intensive fixed income, commodities and currencies (FICC) divisions were at the sharp end of the cuts.
Where should you want to work? Any equities related division looks good. Equities revenues rose by double digit percentages in Q1. Headcount in equities also fell, but by a mere 1% year-on-year.
It’s also a good time to be an M&A banker – revenues were up by 28%. A 7% rise in equity capital markets revenues suggests relative safety in this division too. However, debt capital markets bankers could be on shaky ground after a 14% drop in revenues.
You most certainly do not want to be working in the already slimmed down commodities divisions of investment banks. And while FX and rates have rebounded on the back of increased volatility – a potentially temporary phenomenon – credit traders, particularly those in high yield and structured products, had a tough first quarter.