Many former bankers will ‘have to find something completely different’
The job cuts announced by the banking industry as it restructures itself are so vast, many of those formerly working in the field–particularly in Europe–will find themselves pursuing alternate careers in the years to come. And while most of the cuts so far have come in Europe, the U.S. is on track to follow, say analysts.
Reuters reported Friday that job cuts announced by some 29 banks since the beginning of 2011–some 160,000 of them–have hit Europe far harder than Asia or the U.S. But, hard as that has already been, particularly on Britain where the financial industry accounts for about 10% of the economy, that could change as the full tally of slashed jobs in the sector has yet to be revealed.
The 160,000 positions already announced as being on the chopping block are far from the end, with many banks not having revealed the full toll of their changes. Also, numerous smaller firms, banks and brokers both, also either downsizing or closing. Commerzbank, for instance, was reported to be planning another 6,000 job eliminations, although in the report it had declined to confirm that.
And Swiss-based UBS said in October that it intended to lay off an additional 10,000; that would come on top of the 3,500 job cuts it had said in 2011 that it would make. The bank also said last month that it had decided to exit most of its rates and debt trading units.
With the number of new hires being outnumbered by those on their way out the door by a two-to-one margin, many in the field will be looking elsewhere for new careers. One top executive at an international bank based in London, who asked for anonymity, was quoted saying, “When I let go tons of people in cash equities this year, I knew most would be finished in this business. It is pretty dead. Some will just have to find something completely different to do.”