London Is Bleeding Bankers

Survey says financial services firms may have cut 9,000 jobs

Third-quarter drops in revenue and profits have reportedly cost the City of London 9,000 jobs in the financial services sector, according to a survey by a business lobby group.

Bloomberg reported Monday that the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said that banks, insurers, asset managers and other financial firms could cut another 3,000 from their employment rolls by year-end.

As of June 30, 1.14 million people in Britain were employed by firms in financial services, according to the CBI. However, cuts over the past three months have not put an end to the drive to streamline operations.

In its report, the CBI said, “The U.K.’s lackluster economic performance is hanging heavily over the industry. Faced with such weak demand, the industry is continuing to take steps to reduce its cost base.” The survey, conducted by CBI and PricewaterhouseCoopers, found that 19% more companies reported sales drops than reported increases.

In a separate study, the recruitment firm Morgan McKinley reported that September saw the lowest level this year of vacancies at financial services firms and said that job openings in the City, as the financial district is known, as well as opportunities elsewhere in London, fell by 43% in 2012 to 2,205. A year earlier, such financial job opportunities numbered 3,843.

Hakan Enver, operations director at Morgan McKinley financial services, said in a statement, “From talking to various financial institutions across London, there is very little consistency in hiring plans for both the immediate and longer-term future.”

Mark Cameron, chief operating officer at Astbury Marsden, said in the report, “It has proved to be an unexpectedly bad summer for bankers.” He added that some banks “continue to scale down their investment banking operations.”

Among financial institutions still planning cuts that will hit London are UBS, which looks to trim some 80–90 jobs in its European investment banking division, and Nomura Holdings, which plans to eliminate about 100 jobs, also in investment banking. Both actions, according to people familiar with the plans, will affect staff in London.

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