Major investment banks have cut their number of UK job vacancies in half over the last year as a dealmaking slump puts a strain on recruitment and bonuses.
Analysis of job openings at Citigroup, Barclays, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and HSBC found that vacancies had plunged 50 per cent on average, according to the website Vacancysoft.
Citi saw a 75 per cent drop in hiring – the largest proportion of the group – as it posted 956 openings last year compared to 3,865 in 2022.
Barclays reduced vacancies by around half at 3,458 from 7,435, while JP Morgan posted 2,864 openings from 5,571.
Morgan Stanley had 60 per cent fewer vacancies at 424 from 1,129.
All four banks announced fresh layoffs last year, reversing heavy hiring done immediately after the Covid-19 pandemic, as a slowdown in dealmaking hit their fees from advising on M&A and IPOs.
None of the banks provided a comment on their hiring practices when approached by City A.M.
Citi is embarking on a major restructuring that will involve 20,000 layoffs, while Barclays revealed last month that it cut 5,000 jobs in 2023 to reduce costs.
“Businesses don’t necessarily want to start letting people go unless they have to. That is why what happens in the first instance is that you see job growth slow down,” James Chaplin, chief executive of Vacancysoft, told The Times.
“The scale and speed of the reverse isn’t unprecedented — after all, we’d seen a similar emergency stop when the pandemic hit and, before that, the dramatic impact caused by the global financial crisis.”
As the UK’s big banks prepare to report their annual results over the next two weeks, investors will be paying attention to how the dealmaking slowdown has hit bonus season.
Sky News reported on Sunday that Natwest’s bonus pool would be £350m for 2023, slightly lower than the £367m it paid out to staff in 2022. The bank declined to comment when approached by City A.M.
Reduced dealmaking has also spurred the Big Four accountants to put nearly 2,000 roles on the chopping block last year.