More Job Losses - Cuts Made At The Margins

Although the talk is of recovery and recruitment, banks are still looking closely at their businesses. As they begin to restructure and ready themselves for the upturn, more jobs will go at the margins. Some evidence to support this was seen only last week.

Around 90 cash equity staff will go over at HSBC, as the bank continues its review of its investment banking activities. More job cuts cannot be ruled out at this stage.

Bloomberg reports that about 9% of the unit's workforce will be laid off, 40 in London, 10 in New York and the rest in Europe. The bank is said to plan to close down equity sales in Milan, equity trading in Madrid and Stockholm and to either close down or sell its Warsaw equities unit.

HSBC will move away from buying and selling shares for customers as commissions shrink and will focus instead on trading on its own account, selling equity derivatives and stock lending. A HSBC spokesman has confirmed that the bank's cash equities business overall was profitable and that more staff would be hired following the restructure.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Bank of America is cutting around 100 positions in its investment banking division, or 1.5% of the unit's global staff. The cuts, which are said to have started around Labour Day, will vary from one business/product area and from region to region.

And finally, in a related story, Bloomberg reports that Edinburgh Fund Managers has cut 71 jobs following its sale to rival Aberdeen Asset Management. Most of the job losses are said to have been as a result of Aberdeen selling on Edinburgh's mutual fund business to New Star. Edinburgh currently has around 170 staff. Further job losses are thought unlikely at the moment.

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