Around the World: RBS may need job cuts; Danske tries to avoid lay-offs

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Today's results suggest RBS may indeed need to make 4,000 redundancies in its investment bank. Also, it has accrued no bonuses

RBS likes to hearken back to the worst of times. Its investor releases are prefaced with references to the bad old days when its cost income ratio was 97 percent and its return on equity was -31 percent. "Look how we've improved" is the implication. RBS's Q3 results suggest the Global Banking and Markets division (GBM) has not improved enough, however.


Danske is eliminating another 2,000 jobs, but aims to avoid redundancies

The good news is that Danske's stated aim of reducing its headcount by 2,000 over the next two years is unlikely to require enforced redundancies. The bad news, the bank's quarterly and nine-month results showed today, is that, with a focus on cost-saving and reductions through attrition and retirement, even "in-fill" hiring is now likely to be muted, let alone the prospect of much in the way of additional recruitment. [Denmark]

MF Global's people in Asia are earnestly looking for new jobs

After its parent company's collapse, MF Global's Asian entities have begun to unwind trades and sell assets. There have been reports that these local units-including those in Singapore and Hong Kong-may be attractive acquisitions for buyers looking to expand in the region. However, employees at the failed brokerage in Asia aren't taking any chances.

[Hong Kong]

Should Jefferies' employees in London be taking defensive action?

Bad things have been happening to Jefferies this afternoon. The bank's stock fell up to 20 percent after it was downgraded by ratings agency Egan Jones from BBB to BBB-. This is significant because Egan Jones was one of the only ratings agencies to predict the demise of MF Global and is therefore considered ahead of the game.


Who hired in the Middle East in October?

If there are two presiding themes to October's people moves announcements, it's that Qatar is the place to be and that the wealth management sector remains an expansive area. Amana Capital has hired Noor Eldeen Al-Hammoury as its new chief market strategist. BankDhofar, the Omani institution, has announced that Anthony Mahoney is its new chief executive officer.

[Middle East]

More redundancies are looming at Scottish banks, but it's really not that bad

After threatening to reach pre-crisis levels again, employment in Scotland's banking sector suddenly looks a lot more precarious. Lloyds Banking Group is in the midst of another round of redundancies that will eventually see 15,000 jobs lost (a move which will inevitably affect Scotland), RBS is looking at new cost efficiencies and now the bank which recruited while others cut-Clydesdale Bank-now looks set to scale back headcount.


Asia to escape the cull on IT contractors' pay

Recent news that firms in the West are reducing pay for IT contractors begs the question: will these cuts hit Asia as well? Nomura and RBS are trimming 10 percent or more from salaries of IT contractors and other temporary workers. However, Gina Ong, partner, technology practice, Boyden Singapore, doesn't think this policy will affect Asia.

[Hong Kong]

Ulster Bank is still building its headcount, but can it last?

Royal Bank of Scotland has published its gargantuan Q3 results report this morning and, as has been the case for some time now, Ulster Bank remains in the red. It slipped to a 219 million loss in the third quarter, down from 176 million in the red during the same period in 2010, and has posted a 786 million loss for the first nine months of this year.


Canadian Jobs Market For Finance Pros Still "Lumpy," Experts Say

A recent article in the Canadian press suggests that hiring has picked up markedly for Canadian bankers and other professionals, but recruiters and other experts on the ground in Toronto beg to differ. "2011 continues to be a difficult year for the majority of senior executives in transition," says Mike Horsfield, a member of the Phoenix Executive Network, a Toronto-based organization supporting C-suite executives in their job search.


There are still managers in Australia who think work-life balance is "a joke"-are you one of them?

In an industry notorious for long hours and office-bound weekends, work-life balance is now slowly moving up the priority list of financial services firms, according to delegates at the recent eFinancialCareers Melbourne roundtable. Although policies are patchy and often poorly implemented, progress is being made, agreed the 20 in-house HR professionals from local and international financial institutions who attended the event.


Want to nab a front-office role on the mainland? Here's what you really need to know

Preparation is everything when it comes to interviews-front-office roles aren't an exception. We ask the experts how you can impress would-be employers. Potential questions Cherol Cheuk, general manager of Hudson Shanghai, says front-office candidates may be expected to list down important contacts from their network-including government officials or senior bankers.


There could be more job cuts coming at National Irish Bank

National Irish Bank has previously made assurances that further job cuts won't be necessary. However, with loan impairments continuing to increase and a new €270 million cost-cutting program across its parent company Danske Bank, it seems likely that more redundancies could be on the horizon.


Employee Perk Update: PwC Canada Focuses On De-Stressing Indicatives, RBC Highlights Diversity and Education

Canadian companies-including several financial services leaders-are increasingly offering employee benefits that go beyond the traditional menu of health, dental and retirement fare. "More and more over the last 10 years, companies have been looking for innovative ways to approach the whole benefits model to get more value for the organization, essentially seeking bigger bang for their benefits buck, says Alan Kearns, founder of national leadership and career coaching firm CareerJoy in Toronto.


Asset managers are increasing pay, but Scotland is not the place to be for big bonuses

If you're working in a distribution role in a fund manager north of the border, you're more likely to have new job opportunities available to you. However, investment professionals are still being offered bigger pay rises. Generally, despite reduced job opportunities and the prospect of redundancies, most fund managers are still paying more. Total compensation costs have increased by an average of 18 percent, according to a new survey from PwC.


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