The bank, which employs around 5,000 people in the UK, sought to quell fears of job losses, saying although it had stopped recruiting it had no plans for large-scale redundancies.
But when asked when it expected to begin hiring again a spokesman for Morgan Stanley said: “We will revise the situation in the first quarter. I can’t guarantee to you now that we will begin hiring in the new year but we have a hiring freeze in place until the end of the year.”
The investment bank said poor trading volumes in the third quarter contributed to the decision to freeze staff recruitment, amid persisting uncertainty over global recovery.
However, the bank added that it was fairly typical for investment banks to slacken off recruitment in the fourth quarter.
One City insider added: “People just don’t recruit at this time of year. Why would you recruit someone in October when they are not going to be able to start until January or February and then you’ll have to pay them an annual bonus for work they haven’t done for you?”
The recruitment freeze comes a day after Royal Bank of Scotland announced a further 500 redundancies among back-office staff in its investment division. It is a month since Barclays Capital announced up to 400 redundancies and Credit Suisse said it was shedding 75 staff.
Meanwhile, in the US, Bank of America has made around three per cent of its workforce redundant, amounting to several hundred jobs.