This week’s layoffs at London’s NatWest Markets have included many of the bank’s recent graduates, sparking surprise among some who should be let go so soon.
“I knew banking careers weren’t linear and people let go in the banking sector, but honestly, what do they expect to gain by firing a first-year analyst?” Said one. “VPs and MDs earn many multiples of an analyst’s compensation and we are the ones who are building the business for the future.”
NatWest Markets put 79 front office and 20 back and middle office staff at risk this week. Only seven of those who were laid off are believed to be college graduates, and this is believed to account for only 8% of the bank’s overall number of college graduates in EMEA. However, insiders say it made up a much larger percentage of the 2019 hires in some teams.
A spokesperson for NatWest said: “Decisions following strategic change are always difficult. We are working to find alternative opportunities within the bank for any risky graduate trainees. We remain fully committed to the career development of our staff and graduate trainees. “
NatWest isn’t alone in making cuts: HSBC is also believed to have cut members of its London XVA team.
Many of NatWest’s graduate trainees are Europeans and are planning to leave London now that their jobs have disappeared. “In the future I will look for work in Frankfurt and Dublin,” said one.
NatWest Markets cut jobs as part of a strategy announced by new CEO Alison Rose earlier this year. The bank is refocusing its business away from wealth managers and other financial institutions and focusing on corporate clients.
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