Gather your belongings, leave your key cards at reception and exit the building.
They made their way in dribs and drabs. Hundreds of displaced bankers, shuffling up Suffolk Lane to All Bar One and along Upper Thames Street toward the Folly, the only pubs in the City of London open that early on an overcast Tuesday morning.
Bloomberg News reports that it was April 12, and Nomura Holdings had just informed about 600 traders, analysts and advisers that they were no longer needed. The bank was pulling out of equities in Europe, affecting roughly one in five employees in the region. They’d been herded into conference rooms at 8:20 a.m., where the news was relayed in perfunctory speeches by senior managers and human resources personnel: Gather your belongings, leave your key cards at reception and exit the building. Thanks for everything.
The shell-shocked men and women sipping pints and consoling each other had become part of a growing population. Faced with a toxic blend of zero-interest rates, stiffer capital requirements and a collapse in trading revenue, banks including Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse have announced large cuts to their European operations in recent months. Even U.S. firms, with higher profitability, are trimming staff.
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