Not much hope for French bankers in France, either

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French bankers who've lost their jobs in London and are hoping to reinvigorate their careers on the other side of La Manche might as well go to Bognor Regis instead: there aren't any front-office jobs in Paris either.

According to French recruiters, the situation in Paris is eerily reminiscent of the situation in London. "There are no front-office jobs in Paris at all at the moment," says Jean Marie Cousty of recruiters Hudson. "All the budgets are frozen."

"The situation is exactly the same in Paris as in London," confirms another headhunter in Paris. "We're a few months behind, but fundamentally things here are exactly the same."

It doesn't help that Natixis is cutting 16% of its employees, that Calyon's pulling back from investment banking, or that SocGen is still reeling from the Jérôme affair.

There are some bright spots, however. SocGen has just appointed Michel Peretie, the former European chief exec of Bear Stearns, to help reinvigorate its corporate and investment banking franchise. Hiring may yet follow.

French recruiters also say things are stirring in the back and middle office. "Some investment banks have plans to reinforce their risk management and operations teams in the second half of 2008," says Cousty.

Surprisingly, French recruiters say they're not being deluged with the CVs of French bankers in London who want to come back home. "Most people know that French banks are in difficulties too," says Erika de Gaillande at Singer & Hamilton: "French bankers who've lost their jobs in London are better off trying Dubai than Paris."

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