Hoping for the best but fearing the worst, a number of traders in the fixed income businesses UBS is scaling back, or exiting, arrived at work this morning in some trepidation.
The news was already all over the wires - the firm was to cut 10,000 staff over the next 4 years and exit some businesses with immediate effect.
And around 100 traders were met at reception by staff in Human Resources and told to report to meeting rooms, where they were then put on 'special' leave'. Although there will follow a 3 week period for 'consultations', the jig is effectively up these staff, who have only redundancy packages left to look forward to.
There was some disquiet around the firm this morning that these traders weren't able to access their desks, but UBS took the view that there would be undue operational risks attached to picking the traders off in small groups from the trading floor itself.
One banker told Here Is The City: 'There is no good way to do this. Sure, it's tough being headed off at reception by an HR bod with a clipboard, but equally being called up from the trading floor and making 'the long walk of shame' up to a meeting room to get chopped isn't that pleasant either. UBS took a pragmatic approach here too; it's all about limiting the downside - the last thing you need is 100 traders who realise that they are about to be canned loose on a trading floor!'.
A former UBS staffer told us: 'The firm will have tried to do this as sensitively as possible, ensuring that staff get as much support as possible and treating these employees with respect. It is a very difficult matter to handle, however, and something no employer likes to have to do'.
image: © C.P.Storm