Although Credit Suisse and UBS are said to face the most pressure to boost efficiency as Switzerland runs ahead of others in introducing tougher capital and liquidity rules to curtail risk-taking, similar dynamics are thought to be at work at other firms as the debt crisis drags on, capital requirements ratchet higher and economic growth grinds to a halt.
In the meantime, The Financial Times has reported that bankers in Asia are bracing themselves for another round of jobs cuts after disappointing levels of trading and issuance activity, especially in equites, as markets continue to suffer from the global economic slowdown.
The newspaper says that Renaissance Capital, the Russian-backed emerging markets bank, has closed its Hong Kong and Beijing offices with many of its staff there facing redundancy as it refocuses on Russia and Africa. CLSA, the equities-focused house, made more than 20 people redundant last month, and quotes John Wright, founder of Global Sage in Hong Kong, who said it was the worst hiring environment he had seen. '
'Asia isn’t being spared just because it is considered a growth area', he said. 'In fact, the margins for banks are under tremendous pressure and profitability remains a huge issue'.
Finally, Bloomberg reports that Canaccord Financial Inc. plans to pare positions in Canada after cutting 234 jobs in the U.S. and U.K. on its takeover of British brokerage Collins Stewart Hawkpoint Plc.
'While we’ve added significant capabilities to our businesses in the last year, we’re also taking actions to remove costs from our operations, ensuring more revenue hits our bottom line', Paul Reynolds, Canaccord chief executive officer, said Thursday at the firm’s annual investors meeting in Toronto. 'We’re committed to managing our business as efficiently as we can in this operating environment'.
Canaccord, Canada’s largest non-bank brokerage, started last week by cutting eight advisers and eight support positions in Montreal, Reynolds said. The Toronto-based firm pared 150 U.K. jobs and about 84 U.S. positions as part of its March takeover of London-based Collins Stewart Hawkpoint, he said.