Disconcerted Deutsche Bank traders are being made to work their notice periods

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Deutsche Bank traders gardening leave

When you resign from your job on the trading floor of an investment bank, it's standard practice to be locked out of a bank's systems and immediately bewith  escorted from the building. After all, no bank wants exposure to the risk that you make a mistake or solicit its clients after declaring your intention to work elsewhere. At Deutsche Bank, however, some traders who resign are now being required to stick around.

We understand that several traders who've resigned from Deutsche Bank's London fixed income trading business in the past few weeks are still at their desks. In a highly unusual development, we also understand that the German bank has required them to carry on trading and dealing with clients instead of taking the summer off on paid gardening leave. Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

The new policy follows a report last month that Deutsche Bank had cut paid gardening leave for its senior U.S. bankers to just 30 days, down from 60 days or even 90 days previously. During gardening leave, departing employees are unable to start new jobs elsewhere and are effectively paid to relax. Deutsche Bank's truncated approach therefore denies exiting U.S. bankers summers off in the Hamptons.

In London, Deutsche insiders say they have signed contracts giving the bank the opportunity to cut gardening leave from three months to just one month within five days of handing in their notice. Even when gardening leave continues for three month, the bank is still requesting some traders to continue working.

Charles Ferguson, a veteran London lawyer with a long history of dealing with traders' employment queries says Deutsche Bank is perfectly entitled to require its employees to continue trading, although it's not standard practice. "Most banks immediately stick traders on gardening leave because they don't want them chatting up clients after they've left."

Headhunters who work with traders say Deutsche Bank's new approach is unprecedented. "Usually, anyone in a risk-taking position is asked to leave the building as soon as they resign or are fired," says one. "It's possible that Deutsche Bank has decided not to follow this policy because they've lost a lot of people and need the desks manned over the summer for regulatory reasons."

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