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Terminations/Cost Cutting

Euro Banks Scale Back Projected Job Cuts

December 15, 2016

In 2015, 17 major banks in Europe projected about 130,000 job cuts in the coming years. By 2016, that number dropped significantly to just under 50,000. And now, some industry watchers think lenders might even recruit a little next year overall – that is, if the Trump stock market rally continues. Banks themselves, however, remain pessimistic and are looking to cut costs further, a signal of more layoffs.


The above numbers include Tuesday's the just-announced 14,000 jobs UniCredit plans to cut by 2019, and. of course, the expectations of such banks as HSBC, StanChart, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse.


"Banks seem to be reasonably content and comfortable with their size right now," said Richard Hoar, a director at recruitment firm Goodman Mason. "They've trimmed down a lot and might actually need to go up a bit next year if the market bounce continues."


One problem banks are having is that while they have cut back heavily in some areas, new rules and aging IT systems have forced them to bulk up their headcount in areas such as regulatory compliance and technology. As a result, hundreds of thousands of job cuts since the 2008 crisis have largely been offset by the bulking up in support numbers.


Overall, the number of people working in Europe's financial industry has stayed relatively steady. Total headcount at banks on the STOXX Europe 600 Banks Index .SX7P was 2,362,677 at the end of 2015, just 5.2% below the 2,491,125 employees in 2007.