Rumour That Up To A Third Of Top Firm's Staff To Be Axed

Rumours are circulating that up to a third of Citigroup 10,000 London-based staff may be axed in the latest round of headcount reductions. The main focus of the cuts are thought likely to come in the investment banking unit. And The Globe & Mail reports that Citi has given notice to all 12 of the investment bankers it employs in Toronto.

The Evening Standard reports that BlackRock is to axe dozens of London-based staff, as 200 of the firm's 5,500 employees are laid-off in the first redundancies in the firm's 20-year history. And Reuters reports that BlackRock, Fidelity and ING have all been axing staff in Taiwan.

Bloomberg reports that Oppenheimer analyst Meredith Whitney has been at it again, speculating that US banks will writedown some $44bn in the fourth-quarter.

Reuters reports that Japan's financial regulator is likely to order French bank BNP Paribas to strengthen its internal controls following non-disclosures pursuant to a 'controversial deal' with failed property developer Urban Corp. The slap on the risk will carry no fine.

The Times reports that the UK government has been left with a 58% stake in Royal Bank of Scotland, after only 0.24% of shares offered in a rights issue last month were taking up by investors.

The Financial Times reports that UBS is likely to release the names to the US government of an unspecified number of clients who may have breached US tax laws.

Finally, Bloomberg reports that Macquarie chairman David Clarke is to take 6 months off in order to focus on his fight against cancer.

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