It's tough out there.
Britain’s four biggest banks will have eliminated about 189,000 jobs by the end of this year from their peak staffing levels, bringing employment to a nine-year low amid a dearth of revenue. More cuts may follow.
That’s 24% below the peak of 795,000 in 2008 and the least since 2004, when they employed 594,000 globally.
The firms are under pressure from investors to reduce fixed costs as Europe’s sovereign debt crisis crimps income from investment banking as loans sour in the region. The four firms posted $164bn of revenue for 2012, 13% less than in 2008. Costs as a proportion of revenue increased over the period.
'The continuing cost-cutting announcements you’ve been getting reflect an incredibly difficult revenue environment and that’s new', said Simon Maughan, an analyst at Olivetree Securities Ltd. in London. 'The big bulky mass layoffs, such as they were, are probably gone, but that’s not to say staff numbers wont drift lower because it’s a struggle to grow the top line'.
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