Although Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and UBS have all announced job cuts, most of those cuts have been in their investment banking divisions. It appears two of them are now trying to balance the impetus to reduce technology spending with the need to continue to innovate. UBS, however, isn't one of them.
We’ve already looked at the prospects for technologists at the large U.S. investment banks. What’s the situation at their European counterparts? Where possible, we’ve looked at budgets for IT infrastructure and hardware, as well as where they’re hiring currently and what the potential for recruitment down the line is.
Tech budget year-on-year to September: +4%
Current recruitment: Globally, the bank has 168 tech vacancies. Of these, 19 are in its back office in Raleigh, North Carolina office, and 19 more in New York, which are focused on front office credit development positions, project management and infrastructure. Elsewhere, there are 65 tech postings based in Wraclow, Poland, 22 in India and 36 in London.
The positions are focused on senior developers, business analysts or project managers as well as more specialist domain expertise like risk, fixed income and credit. I
Prospects: Poor. While all signs point to the fact that senior and specialist IT roles will remain in New York and London, there’s no denying the acceleration of near-shoring technology functions.
As part of its cost-cutting drive, Credit Suisse aims to strip out the equivalent of $1.3 billion from its infrastructure, which will inevitably include IT. The bank has been advertising for German-speaking technologists to work in Poland since 2009, it has a graduate scheme for IT there and the bank’s finance chief, David Mathers, said last week that more IT jobs would be shifted to lower cost destinations. This will primarily affect technologists in Switzerland and Singapore, but will inevitably put a dampener in recruitment in London. Back in 2010, for instance, Credit Suisse had nearly 200 IT vacancies in London.
Tech budget year-on-year to September: Not stated
Current recruitment: Deutsche Bank has around 100 IT vacancies globally, but it doesn’t look great if you have aspirations to work in New York or London. There are 50 positions in the U.S., but just three specialist and senior positions are in New York, with the remainder spread across offices in Jacksonville, Florida and Cary, North Carolina. It has 20 jobs in its Russian operation including a number of development roles for its much-vaunted Autobahn FX platform and QA positions. Nearshoring is in action in the UK too, with 20 positions within its Birmingham office and just three in London.
Prospects: Not great. During its strategy presentation, Deutsche’s chief executive pointed to how there was “entirely too much infrastructure staff sitting in expensive locations in New York and London” and that 700 million Euros would be stripped out of technology spend across the group.
Headhunters remain convinced that large front office projects could soon filter down to technology recruitment in London, but so far there’s little indication of this. Deutsche has released some new innovations to its Autobahn app and has been hiring in London as a result. However, the bank does appear to be looking for cheaper alternatives to large-scale development projects; not least through its ‘Lodestone Foundation’ initiative, which is encouraging banks to share technology.
Tech budget year-on-year to September: General IT spend has increased by 9.5%, while IT outsourcing costs have risen by 14%.
Current recruitment: Just 16 roles globally, which is not surprising considering the fact that the bank is set to implement a further 10,000 redundancies. None of them are anywhere in the U.S. Even more depressingly, 8 of these jobs are based in its corporate center in Krakow, Poland, and the remainder split between Hong Kong and Switzerland. There are, however, some London vacancies for front office developers and project managers, as well as an outsourcing and off-shoring expert.
Prospects: Assuming your office pass still works, don’t expect many new opportunities in New York, Stamford, Connecticut or Weehawken, New Jersey any time soon. Like Credit Suisse, UBS is focusing firmly on shifting IT jobs to cheaper locations, hence reports of up to 2,000 tech job cuts. In fact, 5,500 jobs are to go from the back office, so expect IT to be included in this. The only upside is that recruiters still view UBS IT professionals as valuable commodities.
Fred Yager contributed to this article