While the spectre of Brexit is discouraging banks in London from hiring, it may be discouraging them from doing the opposite too. - Despite a quiet start to the year in investment banking divisions and what Sergio Ermotti yesterday described as one of the toughest first quarters in years in sales and trading, banks are mostly sitting on their hands. A tiny exception to this rule may be RBC Capital Markets, which appears to have been trimming its London technology media and telecoms team.
RBC declined to comment on the apparent redundancies, but two headhunters said the bank has made a handful of cuts across TMT in London, from senior team members to the most junior. The European TMT team is run by Roland Niklaus, who joined from Barclays in 2015. Niklaus was not there when we called.
RBC built up its London TMT business in 2014 and 2015 after a decision to grow in 'strategic sectors'. The apparent redundancies suggest the bank is having second thoughts.
RBC reports its annual results in early December - a month or more ahead of other banks. It is arguably, therefore, a similar stretch of time ahead of rivals when it comes to cutting costs.
"Most banks in London are just waiting to see how Brexit turns out," says one headhunter. "There's very little hiring and firing - either here, or on the Continent until they know."
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