Top Firm Said Chopping 'Humongous Number' Of Heads

Unhappy Vikram Pandit

The Wall Street Journal reports that Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit is said to be wielding the job axe with a vengeance now, and that, starting this week, 'at least 10,000 staff in its investment bank and other divisions around the world' were being told that their services are no longer required.

The newspaper says that senior management have been told to slash headcount costs by 25%, and managers over at the investment bank are thought to have been advised that they can retain more employees on their pay-rolls by laying-off more highly-paid traders and corporate finance types.

It remains unclear whether the cuts now being made are in addition to the numbers publicly released earlier this year, although with the company's stock under pressure (falling to a 13 year low Thursday), and as the downturn bites, more lay-offs were always on the cards.

Citi spokesperson Christina Pretto is quoted, saying: 'We will continue to carefully manage our headcount levels as we re-engineer the company in line with our stated goal (of cost-base reductions) and market realities'. Layoffs are also expected over at Citi's wealth management units. The Journal quotes one unnamed Citi executive who described the planned layoffs as 'a humongous number'.

And Bloomberg reports that Nomura Holdings is now planning to cut at least 30 Tokyo-based ex-Lehman staff. Nomura took over Lehman's Asia businesses a few weeks back, following the bankruptcy of the US firm. The news agency quotes Masafumi Nakada, the firm's Chief Financial Officer, who said; 'We didn't have job cuts in mind at the stage when we took over the employees. On the other hand, the management will have to think about it as the business environment is always changing'.

This news comes just one day after insiders said that Royal Bank of Scotland was likely to lay-off up to 3,000 staff in its 20,000-person Global Banking & Markets unit in the coming weeks.


'Here we go again - paying off thousands of staff and then, when the market picks up, retaining recruitment firms on exorbitant fees to fill up the empty desks. How did this firm become so bloated ?'.

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