Citigroup, Barclays join rivals in cutting investment banking jobs

Dozens of positions at Citigroup were cut this week, while reductions expected to eventually total about 200 have begun at Barclay. PHOTOS: AFP, EPA-EFE

NEW YORK – Citigroup and Barclays have started eliminating jobs in their investment banking operations, joining other major banks in responding to plunging revenue from the business.

Dozens of positions at New York-based Citigroup were cut this week, while reductions expected to eventually total about 200 have begun at London-based Barclays, according to sources. 

United States banks have been hurt by the dramatic slowdown in investment banking, as the volatility that spurred gains for trading weighed on capital markets and asset management.

Third-quarter investment-banking fees plummeted 64 per cent at Citigroup, and were down 45 per cent at Barclays.

Wall Street banks also regularly cull underperformers ahead of the annual bonus season that comes at the start of the year.

Still, the move marks a reversal for Citigroup, which has been adding talent as it seeks to boost its position in certain sectors, including healthcare and technology.

Morgan Stanley is considering eliminating about 50 investment banking jobs in the Asia-Pacific region, sources said earlier this month.

That followed a similar move in September by Goldman Sachs Group, which is embarking on its biggest round of job cuts since the start of the pandemic in 2020. 

Goldman said in July that it planned to slow hiring and reinstate annual performance reviews in an effort to rein in expenses in what it called a “challenging operating environment”. 

Grim news on the job front follows two years of soaring profits and bonuses, fuelled in part by huge government stimulus programmes aimed at keeping the economy from sliding into a recession during the pandemic. The biggest US banks kept adding to their workforces in the third quarter. BLOOMBERG

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