ABN Merges, JP Morgan Said Set To Cut Staff

The Wall Street Journal reports that Dutch firm ABN Amro is to merge its credit, rates and bond distribution groups next year to create a revamped fixed income business for the bank's wholesale clients. It remains unclear whether this initiative was driven by a desire to improve client service or a bid to save on costs. Or both.

The Times reports that JP Morgan is to cut around 5% of its 6,000 European investment banking staff following an end-of-year business review. Many firms seem to be getting into the Christmas spirit early this year and are said to be thinking of axing staff in unprofitable or non-performing areas.

To be fair to JP Morgan, however, the bank does have a history of reviewing its business operations at this time of year and will usually cut heads in order to re-invest in other more profitable or strategic areas. Cynics say that some firms, however, will use the 'annual business review' excuse to get rid of staff just to reduce headcount as revenue growth has slowed down.

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