Investment Banks Cut Senior Staff by 12% in 2012, Coalition Says

The 10 largest investment banks including Barclays Plc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG reduced the number of front-office jobs by 12 percent in 2012, according to analytics firm Coalition.

The banking and trading positions, which excludes administration staff, declined to 54,448 in 2012 from 61,559 in 2011 with the deepest cuts in Asia-Pacific and Europe, London-based Coalition said in a statement today.

“Despite having fewer front office producers than the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa cut significantly harder for the second year in a row,” Coalition said in the statement. A “significant acceleration” also occurred in the Asia-Pacific region, it said.

Global financial firms announced cuts of around 108,733 last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg as they grapple with a weakened euro-area economy and increased pressure from regulators to raise more capital and trim compensation. The International Monetary Fund said in January it expects the euro-area economy to shrink for a second year in 2013 as governments struggle to contain the fiscal crisis. The global economy may expand 3.5 percent this year, less than the 3.6 percent projected in October, the Washington-based fund said.

Barclays Plc said this week it plans to cut 1,800 positions or 7.5 percent of employees at its investment bank, which has businesses in Hong Kong, London and New York. Morgan Stanley said it was eliminating 1,700 jobs last month as it pursues $1.6 billion of annual savings during the next two years. Morgan Stanley, based in New York cut about 4,500 jobs in 2012.

Most cuts were made in equities with a 14 percent decline, followed by fixed-income, currencies and commodities at 11 percent, Coalition said.

The Coalition Index tracks the performance of the 10 largest investment banks globally including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc. and UBS AG.