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Incoming investment bank intern complains of cancellation

Following last year's epic M&A market, it seems likely that banks have decided to bring in a record class of investment banking interns. Could it be that they're in danger of getting cold feet now that the M&A market might be cooling?

One student who had received an offer to spend this summer in JPMorgan's investment banking division says he's been informed that the offer is being withdrawn.  

"I had a call from HR today. They said they had ''re-evaluated their business needs'' and concluded that they had hired too many interns," he says. "They would therefore be withdrawing my offer despite the signed contract."

It's unclear whether the affected student is the only one whose place is affected. Cancelling internships is a very rare occurrence at JPMorgan, and the bank declined to comment on the allegations. M&A revenues at the bank rose 86% year-on-year in the fourth quarter in what CEO Jamie Dimon described as "unprecedented M&A activity." However, more recently, rival banks have suggested that rising interest rates and geopolitical uncertainty have the potential to derail major deals in 2021.

The student says he spent 200+ hours applying to over 40 banks and boutiques and turned down offers from two other banks to take the JPMorgan internship: "I've tried reasoning with HR, but they will not change their minds, and it seems that there are no other options for getting an internship this summer as most banks programmes are closed," he says. "This will cost me £10k in lost income and I'll need a loan to pay my rent this summer." 

Most banks will open their intern applications for 2023 this summer. The student we spoke to said he now feels compelled to apply for an expensive two-year Masters in Finance course in order to have another chance at an internship application elsewhere: "I was planning to go for a 1-year Masters degree, but given that internships require applicants to be in their penultimate year, I will likely have to do a two-year Masters instead."

JPMorgan isn't the only bank to very occasionally backpedal on offers. An incoming analyst at a rival U.S. bank had his offer withdrawn at the last minute earlier this year due to foreseeable visa complications. 

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Contact: in the first instance. Whatsapp/Signal/Telegram also available (Telegram: @SarahButcher)

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Photo by Kai Pilger on Unsplash

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Bi
    9 February 2022

    Welcome to the real world. This situation sounds similar to what happened to me many years ago. Long story short, after several very long interviews and getting the feeling they wanted me badly and I was going to be hired. I was extatic after looking for many months while working full time ( no sense quitting a sure thing until you have a legit offer on the table) and this being the best offer so far. When I asked to to get the offer in writing with all the parameters, salary benefits etc. they himmed and hawed knowing I was currently working and needed to give my current firm my formal resignation. Granted an internship is a trial run without any legal obligation to continue the partnership between the parties after the agreed upon time frame, This is shitty, pure and simple. Best to learn these lessons early in life that your loyalty is to you only and not your employer. Situations like this explain themselves clearly.

  • Ex
    Ex Banker
    9 February 2022

    We are missing a few facts. There is a comment that Morgan backed out of a signed contract. However, is the student saying that there is a breach of contract by Morgan OR did the contract include a cancellation clause. Would be interesting to know whether this contract is the same as other employers use. To me the student has a breach of contract claim if there wasn’t a cancellation clause.

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