'Bloody Fortnight' - Week Two Cuts Likely

As we enter week two of the so-called 'bloody fortnight' of job cuts in the City, more firms are set to axe staff to reduce costs in the current difficult market conditions.

Lehman Brothers is thought to be laying off up to 500 staff, or 4% of its workforce. The firm started notifying staff last week. A spokesman for Lehman said: 'As we have been stating all year, we are constantly reviewing the scope and scale of our businesses and the environment in which they operate in order to increase our productivity and the firm's profitability. As a result we have made small adjustments across all divisions and regions to reflect the challenging environment.' The firm currently employs around 13,000 staff.

The Queen's broker and advisory firm Cazenove is also thought to be laying off up to 90 staff in London, around 8% of its workforce. In what Chairman David Mayhew has described as 'the worst downturn in investment banking for many years' the firm is thought to be exiting analysts and corporate financiers.

Merrill Lynch is also thought to be exiting up to 15% of its 160-strong equity research team in London.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research predicts that the City will have shed 30,000 jobs from the 2000 peak by the end of next year.

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