Finance professionals globally haven’t had a great press since the financial crisis of 2008, but someone in a position of authority is now very publicly on their side. And that someone is saying exactly what browbeaten bankers want to hear.
“I don’t see ‘parasites’, I don’t a see problem that needs solving,” British business secretary Sajid Javid said at a dinner for bankers in London this week. “I see talented, hard-working, dedicated men and women at the top of their game. I see a financial services sector that paid more than £65bn in taxes last year. I see an industry that provides work for more than two million people in every corner of our country.” People who work in banks are, “good people, hard-working people who have made a lot of money for this country and paid a lot of money in taxes,” Javid added expansively, lambasting all those who’d suggest that banking job losses are no big deal.
Javid’s comments suggest bankers in London can feel good about themselves again, but they also have an air of inevitability. The son of a bus driver, Javid worked for both Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan before going into politics and clearly remains sympathetic to his ex-employers. He’s been acting as an evangelist for the finance sector ever since 2012, when he said meritocratic banks that care more about ability than race or surname represent the best of capitalism. Javid further augmented his banker-friendly credentials this week when he said Western economies are not zero sum games and that it shouldn’t be about banking or manufacturing, the two things can thrive together. It’s all very different to predecessor, Vince Cable, who’s been criticizing politicians for offering ‘bread’ to bankers while steelworkers are ‘destroyed.’
Separately, someone somewhere will hire you if you lose your job in credit trading, And that someone might well be working for RBS. Global Capital reports that the British bank has recruited Andrew Jarman, the former head of high yield beta trading at Mizuho. Jarman was let go by the Japanese bank in August, and has been rescued three months later. This is despite RBS’s plan to continue cutting investment banking costs dramatically and an 81% drop in its credit trading revenues over the past two years alone.
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