BNP Paribas to cut jobs but denies seeking Qatari cash

BNP Paribas is planning a “significant” round of job cuts across its corporate and investment bank, chief executive Baudouin Prot said yesterday.

But he denied reports that the bank is seeking a capital injection from Qatar’s sovereign fund after rumours that it needs more equity swept through markets.

Prot said the layoffs would come alongside a ten per cent reduction in the bank’s assets “essentially at our corporate and investment banking platforms... It will be a significant magnitude, but without reaching at all the figures announced by other banks, especially Anglo-Saxon ones.”

That makes it likely that the cuts will be in the hundreds rather than the thousands, unlike large-scale headcount reductions at other banks like HSBC, Lloyds and Bank of America. They are also likely to fall mostly outside the UK, where the firm employs thousands in its investment bank.

City A.M. understands that the cuts will fall most heavily on the lender’s corporate banking division as it moves out of areas where it considers its presence sub-scale. But the investment bank could also see staff numbers slashed as the bank shifts away from capital-intensive activities.