Good news. The head of one headhunting boutique tells us banks' massive redundancies are nothing to worry about - as long as you're good. They all in aid of staff upgrading in the New Year, he says: "This is the clear out of the underperformers. The upgrades will come in 2012."
True? If so, an analysis of banks' respective performance in the first quarter shows where the upgrades need to happen in 2012 - and where the underperformers need to be cut in the next six months. The following businesses are the most needy causes.
1) Goldman Sachs, fixed income currencies and commodities trading
Something has gone wrong in Goldman's FICC business this year. Revenues in the business fell nearly 37% year-on-year in the first half, versus a market average decline of 21%. Part of the reduction can be attributed to a decline in risk and the growing strength of competitors. But today it also emerged that Goldman lost money on 15 trading days last quarter. Goldman's FICC business looks ripe for a shake-up.
2) Credit Suisse, equities sales and trading
Equities sales and trading is supposed to be one of Credit Suisse's strong points. However, in the first half its equities trading revenues fell 18% year on year, versus a market average increase of 0.5%.
3) UBS, ECM
UBS's ECM business looks like it needs to be cleared out with a view to starting again from scratch. Despite securing a major role on the Glencore IPO, its first half revenues fell 29% year on year. This compared to a market average increase of 20%.
4) Credit Suisse, DCM
Credit Suisse's DCM business could also do with a clean out. In the first half, its revenues fell 1.3%. Across all major banks, DCM revenues were up nearly 18%.