Bank of America to cut Asia investment banking jobs

HONG KONG • Bank of America plans to eliminate about a dozen senior positions at its corporate and investment banking operations in Asia, the second time the US firm is cutting jobs in the region this year, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The reductions by the bank will involve managing directors and directors and will be spread across the region, one of the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information.

The cuts could start as early as today, another person said.

As deal-making dries up in South-east Asia and Chinese securities firms make inroads in initial public offerings and debt underwriting, global investment banks are under pressure to reduce costs.

Goldman Sachs Group plans to eliminate about a quarter of the positions at its investment bank in Asia outside Japan, a person with knowledge of the matter said last week.

Bank of America, which eliminated more than 10,000 jobs globally last year, fired at least 15 senior investment bankers in Asia in March, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.

The March reductions affected a total of about 150 trading and investment banking employees.

In another sign of the difficult conditions in Asian markets, CLSA asked its 1,500 brokerage and investment banking staff to take five or 10 days of unpaid leave as part of an effort to lower costs, said Ms Simone Wheeler, a spokesman in Hong Kong.

CLSA, owned by China's Citic Securities, had asked its staff to sacrifice pay on previous occasions, she said. During the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, the firm said staff who gave up some of their salary could earn it back through a bonus when CLSA achieved a certain cost-to-income ratio.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 05, 2016, with the headline 'Bank of America to cut Asia investment banking jobs'. Print Edition | Subscribe