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Upset as bank lays off around 15% of its London analyst class

Just because you've got a junior job with an investment banking division (IBD) of an investment bank, don't presume you're going to keep it. Banking jobs are notoriously precarious and that applies as much to analyst and associate positions as to more expensive staff at VP and director-level.

To underscore this point, RBC Capital Markets is understood to be in the process of letting go of a significant chunk of its investment banking division analyst class in London. 

The bank didn't respond to a request to confirm the cuts, but insiders said between 15% and 20% of the analyst class have been let go at all levels. Roles are currently said to be at risk, with discussions underway about potentially reassigning staff internally. The cuts were announced over a week ago. One source said the cuts included juniors who only joined this summer.

The layoffs come after Kevin Smith, RBC's head of M&A for Europe, announced he was leaving the bank after eight years in November. RBC has also been cutting equity research professionals in Europe, including Rufus Grantham its head of research for Europe and APAC. 

European M&A fees fell 26% year-on-year in the first nine months of 2019, according to research firm Dealogic. RBC ranked outside the top 10 fee earners in the region. Research firm Tricumen said RBC's M&A business under-performed rivals globally in the first nine months, even though it ranked average or above for costs and staff efficiency. 

RBC announces its fourth quarter results later this week on 4 December, over a month before rival banks. To this extent, its cuts can be seen as an effort to take costs out before year-end and may presage reductions at U.S. and European banks before they announce their own results next year.

One source suggested RBC over-hired juniors in recent years, but may still be interested in adding senior M&A bankers in 2020.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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