The world’s largest banks are slowing the rate of large-scale job cuts after eliminations surged 14 months ago, when Europe’s debt crisis escalated.
Twenty-two of the 50 biggest banks have announced plans to eliminate at least 1,000 positions each since the start of August 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. More than 22,500 cuts were disclosed this year. That compares with about 106,000 in last year’s final five months.
Personnel levels are stabilizing as analysts predict financial results will improve for the six largest U.S. lenders. Profit at those firms may total $59 billion this year, a 5.5 percent increase from 2011, according to the average estimates of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
“Financial services are getting back to some sort of norm,” said Jeanne Branthover, head of the financial-services practice at Boyden Global Executive Search Ltd., a New York- based recruiting firm. “They don’t want to be as volatile, and they’re really trying to handle their hiring and firing better.”
Still, banks are grappling with a European debt crisis now in its fourth year and more uncertainty as the U.S. faces a fiscal cliff in early 2013, when automatic tax increases and budget cuts are set to siphon billions of dollars of purchasing power from the economy.
Analysts predict job losses in Western Europe will increase amid a slump in trading and stock and bond offerings. Wall Street firms will reduce bonuses rather than cut jobs to control expenses this year, Betsy Graseck, a Morgan Stanley (MS) analyst, said last month in a Bloomberg Television interview.
The following table lists 22 banks that announced at least 1,000 job cuts since Aug. 1, 2011, according to company statements and data compiled by Bloomberg. The table draws from public announcements and omits anonymously sourced reports of cuts. Some reductions are being made over months and years. For firms that disclosed reduction ranges, the table reflects the top limit:
Bank Job Cuts Job Cuts Announced Aug.- Announced in Dec. 2011 2012 Allied Irish 2,500 Banks Plc, Ireland Australia & New Zealand 1,000 Banking Group Ltd., Australia Banca Monte dei Paschi 4,600 di Siena SpA, Italy Bank of America Corp., 33,500 U.S. Barclays Plc, U.K. 3,000 622 BNP Paribas SA, France 1,396 Citigroup Inc., U.S. 4,500 500 Credit Agricole SA, 2,350 France Credit Suisse Group 1,500 AG, Switzerland Danske Bank A/S, 2,000 Denmark Deutsche Bank AG, 500 1,900 Germany HSBC Holdings Plc, 30,330 U.K. ING Groep NV, 2,700* 130 Netherlands Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, 5,000 Italy Mizuho Financial Group 3,700 300 Inc., Japan Morgan Stanley, U.S. 1,600 700 National Australia 1,400 Bank Ltd., Australia Nordea Bank AB, 2,000 Sweden Royal Bank of Scotland 2,500 7,342 Group Plc, U.K. Societe Generale SA, 1,580 France UBS AG, Switzerland 3,500 UniCredit SpA, Italy 6,150
*Includes 700 contract positions