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Morning Coffee: Bankers hit internal message boards with return to office complaints. Citi’s veteran’s most pithy aphorism

If you have been working from home and enjoying the lack of a commute and opportunity to hang out with pets and feel the need to vent about the removal of those privileges, then there is an outlet. It's called the internal message board, but don't be too graphic in your angst or the valve may be closed. 

This is the learning at JPMorgan, where Reuters reports that employees have taken to their own internal message board to complain about the recent "tone deaf" and "divisive" edict that managing directors now need to be in the office five days a week. It turns out that commuting is unpopular, as is trying to combine commuting with family responsibilities. So too is coming into the office just to be stuck on Zoom calls anyway. 

Reuters notes that it's not everyone at JPMorgan who's complaining about the office return. However, the handful of miscreants was sufficient to get that page of the internal noticeboard locked after a day, which is apparently something that happens with 'high volume' JPM posts. 

It's not just JPMorgan. The Financial Times reports that people at Lloyds Banking Group are also hitting their internal message boards after being told to get themselves into the office at least two days a week. Like at JPMorgan, Lloyds recalcitrants will be tracked through card-swipe data as they do or don't move through the doors. The complaints are, again, about the commute - its costs, its duration and the fact that it favours people who have shorter journeys to work (and who are probably senior).  Also as at JPMorgan, there are reportedly also queries on the point of returning to the office when teams are geographically dispersed and the day will be spent on Zoom calls anyway...

Separately, Win Bischoff, the former chairman and interim CEO of Citi has passed away. Among the many things that Bischoff - a 'man of old-fashioned honour' and "one of the good guys" deserves to be remembered for, is his aphorism for tackling turnaround situations in banks. The FT reports that he once told António Horta-Osório, the former Lloyds CEO that there is a way to do these things: "We do not cross a precipice in two steps’.


JPMorgan invented an AI language tool that can analyse Fed statements and central-banker speeches going back 25 years and predict changes in policy, creating tradeable signals. (Bloomberg)

JPMorgan promoted 37 new MDs in its corporate and investment bank. A year ago it promoted 45. (Financial News

Stuart Staley, the global head of FX at Citi, is leaving after 20 years. (The Trade) 

Credit Suisse bankers are getting worried about their UBS prospects. “It doesn’t take a genius to see that in a lot of circumstances, there simply isn’t a space for you. UBS might look to upgrade in some circumstances, but the writing's on the wall for many people here.” (Financial News) 

Deutsche Bank might want to buy some Credit Suisse businesses. (Bloomberg) 

Credit Suisse bonuses that were paid in the style of the AT1 bonds that were wiped out in the takeover are also being written down to zero. (Bloomberg) 

Deutsche Bank's troubles were transitory. "Once March was over and we were into April, like a light switch, the concerns around the banking industry went away. And we’ve seen deposits stabilize and grow over the course of April. I’d expect we’ll be back over €600 billion by the end of the month." (Bloomberg) 

Jefferies entered into a strategic alliance with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, covering M&A, Leveraged Finance and Equity Capital Markets in Asia, SMBC plans to become Jefferies' biggest shareholder. (Jefferies)

It's been a terrible time to be a Chinese tech banker. “Many Chinese entrepreneurs and companies have been preparing for a potential initial public offering event for many months, if not years." (Bloomberg) 

Wells Fargo hired Joe Greeves, a software banker from Bank of America in New York. (Bloomberg) 

UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti is also chairman of Swiss Re until the 30th of April. (FiNews)

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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