Thursday's Headlines: IT's in the Crosshairs as RBS Cuts 3,500 Jobs in the UK

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RBS said it will cut 3,500 jobs in the UK and close 10 offices. The bank is aiming to reduce costs by eliminating technology and administrative positions. The move follows last week's announcement that the firm would scale back its insurance business by shutting 14 offices. CEO Stephen Hester has eliminated more than 20,000 jobs since RBS was rescued by the government two years ago. [Bloomberg]

Meanwhile, HSBC said many banks may be forced to leave the UK if the government forces them to split their consumer and securities businesses. The government will issue a report next September, which could ultimately determine the fate of where banks like Standard Chartered, Barclays and others decide to call home. HSBC isn't waiting, having already moved CEO Michael Geoghegan to Hong Kong. [Bloomberg]

The world's richest clients often come with "impossible demands," push margins down and cause internal conflict with investment banking colleagues, said Gerard Aquilina, vice chairman of Barclays' wealth management unit. Plus, he sees "endemic failure" of investment and private bankers to speak to one another, since the former "disdain private bankers and the latter have an insecurity complex." [Bloomberg]

Former hedge fund manager Stephen Goldfield reached a settlement with the SEC over insider trading charges related to the takeover of biotech company MedImmune Inc. The SEC said Goldfield, whose firm Imperium Capital Management profited by nearly $14 million illegally in 2007, would pay $600,000 in damages. [Reuters]

MBA programs are offering incentives to alumni who refer qualified students. Schools such as Columbia, Boston University and the University of Michigan are among those establishing formal alumni referral reward programs. Rewards doled out to alumni who refer students that enroll in B-School include $100 American Express gift cards, leather portfolios inscribed with university logos, and invites to special events. [WSJ]

Lawyers say new rules forcing U.S. companies to disclose the gap between CEO and employee pay could produce a surge in lawsuits. The provision, part of the Dodd-Frank reform bill, aims to narrow the divide - CEO's at S&P 500 companies earn median annual pay of $7.5 million, compared with $40,000 for an average employee. [FT]

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