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Redundancies at BNP Paribas suggest that M&A jobs are almost completely safe and that it helps to be a member of a French union

Among the 200,000 banking job reductions announced so far, are
1,396 cuts at BNP’s corporate and investment bank, announced yesterday.

Helpfully, BNP has broken out where these will take place, both geographically and by division.

Of the 1,400 cuts, a mere 373 will happen in France, with a further 1,023 happening elsewhere. Insiders suggest that many of these redundancies will happen in London – despite the fact that BNP employs 5,500 people in its investment bank in France and just 4,000 in London.

Divisionally, fixed income and operations will bear the brunt of the redundancies. A table here, reproduced in text format below, shows that more than 50% of the redundancies will be in support roles and that a further 23% will be in structured products.

On the other hand, a mere 4% of the job cuts – 62 people – will be in corporate finance.

Lay-off France / Abroad

Financements structurés 116 / 202

Métiers Taux, change, dérivés 30 / 187

Dérivés sur action et matière premières BNPP SA uniquement 10 / 120

Corporate Finance 31 / 31

Couverture Clientèle et Management Pays 46 / 76

Fonctions support CIB 140 / 407

Total 373 / 1023

What can be concluded from this?

Firstly, that M&A bankers look comparatively immune to redundancies – at BNP and elsewhere. BNP has a comparatively small M&A team, which may help explain the comparatively small number of cuts in corporate finance. Equally, however, advisory businesses have the advantage of using small amounts of capital and may show signs of recovery next year – subject to a eurozone apocalypse being averted.

Secondly, that it helps to be in France and that it helps to be a member of a union. As ever, BNP’s redundancies are massively skewed overseas. Laurent Moreuil, an employment lawyer at SBKG & associés in Paris, points out that anyone making more than 10 redundancies in France must enter into a mandatory ’employment safeguard plan’ with the unions, negotiations over which can be lengthy.

Unlike the UK, where investment bankers are rarely unionized, unionization is comparatively commonplace in France. Grégory Le Guenne, one of the union representatives at BNP says there are “lots” of union members at the corporate and investment bank in Paris. In October, bankers at HSBC in Jordan got an 8% pay rise after going on strike for a week. Militancy appears to pay off.

Comments (6)

  1. i think they must have around 200 people in corporate finance, based in Paris. so cutting 31 actually looks huge.
    What’s happening in M&A at GS, MS, DB, CS? Are people relatively safe?

  2. think 31+31 makes 62. BTW it sucks

  3. What happened to BNP Paribas boasting it wouldn’t need to make layoffs as it didn’t join the exuberant hiring scene post the last crisis?

  4. What about IT?

  5. who CARES about IT???

  6. The layoff has been done in BNPP on Friday Nov.18

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