BNP Paribas said to cut up to 7% of investment banking jobs in London

Part of its cost cutting drive.

BNP Paribas is reportedly going to slash more than 200 jobs from its UK investment banking arm, as part of its billion-euro cost cutting drive.

According to Reuters, 233 jobs based in London will be cut this year - representing seven per cent of its UK workforce - while they will be replaced by just 60 new hires in a partial headcount cull.

The move marks part of the bank's plan to trim €1 billion from its investment banking operations. Earlier this month it announced job losses in Paris.

Read more: One-third of European banks will struggle to stay profitable

The reports come just hours after a paper from the Boston Consulting Group suggested that worldwide investment banking revenues were going to dip below recession-levels in 2016 and the European Central Bank (ECB)'s top economist warned the industry was facing a "severe profitability shock".

The investment bank will ramp up its hiring in lower-cost parts of the EU, including Poland, Spain, Portugal and Ireland, Reuters reported

The decision, which could be interpreted as shifting staff from the UK into continental Europe will fuel speculation that the bank is trimming its exposure to the UK ahead of the EU referendum in just five weeks.

BNP Paribas declined to comment on the reports.

Full story: BNP Paribas to cut hundreds of investment banking jobs in London: City A.M.

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