DBS Vickers redeploys staff amid slow market

About 12 positions made redundant in brokerage firm due to lacklustre market conditions

Brokerage firm DBS Vickers Securities is redeploying about a dozen employees in one of its units due to lacklustre market conditions.

Staff across the region working in the institutional business unit were told on Wednesday that their positions were being made redundant so that the firm can be "more competitive and responsive to market changes", a spokesman told The Straits Times yesterday.

"We will offer all affected employees opportunities to be redeployed within DBS and will support them closely through this transition."

Vickers is a wholly owned subsidiary of DBS, operating in Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, the United States and Britain.

Its equity trading business is broadly divided into retail and institutional services. The cuts were spread across the institutional teams in Asia.

The decision to redeploy staff partly reflected the slowdown that has hit regional equities markets this year, particularly in Singapore, where trading volumes have been mostly stagnant amid a faltering local economy and weak global growth.

The average value of securities products traded each day on the Singapore Exchange was $988 million in the three months to Sept 30, down 19.5 per cent from the same period last year.

DBS' brokerage revenue - which included turnover from Vickers - slipped 13 per cent year on year to $39 million in the third quarter. Brokerage revenue was $118 million in the first nine months this year, down 19 per cent year on year.

Banks around the world have also been slashing jobs as they grapple with tumbling earnings and rising costs.

Global banks such as Barclays, Credit Suisse, UBS and Standard Chartered have all announced job cuts this year.

DBS has not unveiled any aggressive cuts, but chief executive Piyush Gupta said in February that the bank will slow down hiring and wage increases this year.

DBS shares closed up 1.77 per cent yesterday at $17.86.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 02, 2016, with the headline 'DBS Vickers redeploys staff amid slow market'. Print Edition | Subscribe