JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. bank, told about 10 traders in its commodity business that their jobs may be eliminated, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.
The bank may dismiss or relocate seven in London and one in Dubai, said the people, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. A second Dubai-based trader will be relocated to London, the people said. Patrick Burton, a spokesman for the bank in the U.K. capital, declined to comment.
JPMorgan had the second-highest revenue from commodities after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. last year, analytics company Coalition said in March. New York-based JPMorgan has commodity bankers based in 12 countries, according to its website, though it doesn’t disclose how many traders it has globally.
Commodities revenue at the 10 largest banks slumped 24 percent last year to $6 billion amid low volatility and reduced client activity, according to a Feb. 15 Coalition report. Increasing concerns about regulation and capital sensitivity also led banks to re-examine commodity strategies, it said.
Goldman Sachs in a report last month cut its “near-term” outlook for commodities and reduced forecasts for oil and coffee amid prospects for weak demand from China to Europe. The bank also exited a bet on lower gold prices. Gold fell into a bear market in April as investors sold the metal in favor of riskier assets, spurred by expectations that the global economy was recovering and stimulus programs would be reduced.
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of raw materials climbed less than 0.3 percent in 2012, the worst performance in four years. The gauge’s 100-day historic volatility fell to as low as 14.1 percent in May, from as much as 23.8 percent in January 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
JPMorgan said in February it will eliminate as many as 19,000 jobs in mortgages and community banking through 2014 as it trims expenses. This year, the bank’s headcount will shrink by about 4,000 people, mainly through attrition, while some employees are redeployed to other areas, said Kristin Lemkau, a spokeswoman, said at the time.
The bank’s first-quarter profit rose 33 percent to a record last month as it shrank expenses by 16 percent.