If you go down to a pub near Finsbury Square this lunchtime, you will be in for a not particularly big surprise: UBS FICC bankers are drowning their sorrows. Until last Friday, they thought they had jobs. Today, it emerges, they haven't.
Horror stories reminiscent of the early 2000s are emerging about the manner of their dismissal. Many UBS FICC professionals turned up for work in London this morning and couldn't even get through the barriers, causing congestion at the entrance. Others could get through the barriers but were then shepherded into a room and handed all their personal items in plastic bag. Other very senior staff made it up to their desks and then discovered a letter saying their services were no longer needed.
We understand that UBS's FICC bankers haven't actually been made redundant at this stage: they've simply been put on indefinite gardening leave while the bank makes a decision about their future. They're still being paid, but not necessarily for long. "There have been rumours that UBS would close its FICC business for a while," says one headhunter, "But no one really believed them. None of these people had any idea that this was going to happen on Friday evening."
Sales staff seem to have been particularly affected by the cull. Bloomberg reported this morning that Roberto Hoornweg, the sales focused co-head of fixed income, is leaving. His co-head and alleged arch rival Rajeev Misra, is apparently staying to wind the business down. "
"They've kept 1 or 2 people out of sales teams of 6 to 10," says one headhunter. "The ones who are left are mostly the senior guys or the most longstanding. There's a sense of 'we trust you to turn out the lights."
The harsh method of UBS bankers' dismissal is all the more galling in light of Sergio Ermotti's promise this morning to, "ensure that our people will be supported and treated with care."
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Goldman allegedly made this kind of redundancies in 1998. Morgan Stanley allegedly did it in 2000. (Appeering)
A UBS spokesman denied reports on Twitter that some staff cannot get into the London offices beside Liverpool Street station because their passes have stopped working. He said: "When people arrive they go up in a room and get told by someone from HR." (Guardian)
UBS is closing down its sovereign, supranational and agency bond business as well as exiting its commercial paper business. (Reuters)
This time last year, UBS thought parts of its fixed income business were very attractive. (Twitter)
Kweku Adoboli says he was encouraged by UBS managers to keep pushing the boundaries ‘until he received a slap on the wrist.’ (Reuters)
Nomura’s 2Q return on equity was 0.5%. Its deputy CFO says fixed income will drive the wholesale business. (Bloomberg)
Direct Line is making 70 senior people redundant. (Telegraph)
Something’s wrong at quant hedge funds- they’re heading for their worst month since August 2007. (Reuters)
"Assuming nothing devastatingly crippling happens, this is basically like a four-day weekend." (Wall Street Journal)
Goldman Sachs keeps the lights on. (Statigr.am)
Get a job delivering parcels. (Reuters)