Discover your dream Career
For Recruiters

Why You Don’t Want to Work at a U.K.-Based Bank

U.K. banks aren’t nearly as good at firing people as are their U.S. rivals. British banks are slashing jobs left and right, but, unlike competitors from across the pond, U.K. firms aren’t becoming more efficient. They’re just becoming smaller.

The U.K.’s four largest banks – Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Lloyd’s and Barclays – have cut nearly 190,000 jobs since 2008, dragging employment in the sector to a nine-year low, according to Bloomberg. The number of jobs lost is eye-opening, but far from shocking.

What’s truly disturbing is that the firms’ costs as a proportion of revenue actually increased over the period. Total revenue is down 13% since 2008, with only a 1% drop in costs. It’s worth repeating: 190,000 job cuts contributed to a 1% reduction in costs. Wow.

U.S. banks, in contrast, have been able to shrink their compensation ratios without doing nearly the same damage to their balance sheets. Simon Maughan, an analyst at Olivetree Securities, told Bloomberg that additional mass layoffs will likely be avoided, but cuts will continue to trickle in if U.K. banks can’t follow in the footsteps of U.S. firms by doing more with less.

Money Laundering Scheme (NY Times)

The founders of digital currency company Liberty Reserve have been charged with running a $6 billion money-laundering operation. Liberty morphed into the "bank of choice for the criminal underworld,” according to federal prosecutors.

RBS Staffers Walking to U.S. Banks (Financial News)

With additional headcount reductions rumored, Royal Bank of Scotland has seen some of its most talented U.S. bankers walk to rival firms. Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Citigroup and Jefferies have all poached RBS staffers in recent months.

From Wall Street to Main Street (WSJ)

The Securities and Exchange Commission, having spent the last four years concentrating its efforts on fighting wrongdoings on Wall Street in the wake of the financial crisis, plans to shift resources back to Main Street. Accounting fraud may soon become the next insider trading.

Quality Time (Business Insider)

J.P. Morgan Chief Executive Financial Marianne Lake is a single mother with an 18-month-old child. How does she do it? “I try to spend anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes with my son. Failing that, I try for 30 to 60 minutes together at the end of the day.”

Outsourcing (WSJ)

U.S. banks have begun outsourcing monotonous mortgage processing jobs to Indian IT firms rather than adding to their own staff.

It’s Just Too Expensive (Financial Times)

The shrinking financial services sector is making it difficult for developers to lease real estate space at the World Trade Center.

Stable! (Bloomberg)

Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the U.S. banking system’s rating to “stable.” That sure sounds better than “negative.”

Buzz Around the Office

We Made Our Own Wish (Buzzfeed)

Toronto’s embattled mayor Rob Ford was surprised by a group of citizens who assembled to wish him a happy 44th birthday. They delivered a cake with the words “Please Resign” written in frosting.

List of the Day: Cover Letter Flops

Here are the three most common cover letter mistakes.

  1. You use a generic salutation.
  2. You talk about yourself, rather than the value you can provide.
  3. You wrote a novel.

(Source: AOL Jobs)

AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor
  • Th
    The Eye
    30 May 2013

    In reaction to "Why You Don't Want to Work at a U.K.-Based Bank" one of the reasons, it would appear, is that the value of an employee in the UK is more valuable than that outside of the UK, regardless of the revenue generated/productivity of that employee. This would be one of the downfalls of being owned by the state and the influence applied.
    In the US the Banks looks at these issues in a more pragmatic way and, whilst not perfect, don't cut off their nose to spite their face. That is, they still have a log term business to run.

Sign up to our Newsletter!

Get advice to help you manage and drive your career.

Boost your career

Find thousands of job opportunities by signing up to eFinancialCareers today.
Latest Jobs
Selby Jennings
Commodity Quantitative Developer
Selby Jennings
New York, United States
Northern Trust
Senior Global Risk and Control Consultant
Northern Trust
Chicago, United States
Northern Trust
Relationship Manager, Securities Lending
Northern Trust
Chicago, United States
Northern Trust
Registered Associate II
Northern Trust
Sarasota, United States
Northern Trust
Sr Product Manager
Northern Trust
Chicago, United States
Northern Trust
Private Equity Onboarding Sr Consultant
Northern Trust
Chicago, United States

Sign up to our Newsletter!

Get advice to help you manage and drive your career.