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Credit Suisse London bankers fear annihilation next week
Sarah Butcher

Credit Suisse is going to be cutting some jobs. When the Swiss bank announced its restructuring plan last week, it said that it intended to remove 2,700 people before Christmas. Quite a few of those are likely to be investment bankers in the UK.

While Credit Suisse will maintain an M&A advisory team in EMEA under its new CS First Boston operation, the bank's equity capital markets, debt capital markets and leveraged finance bankers in Europe will all be surplus to requirement. Insiders say they've heard they could be let go as soon as next week.

Credit Suisse declined to comment on the timing of the cuts. "We will resize our capital markets business in EMEA to be a real advisory only business," said Credit Suisse CEO/hatchet man Ulrich Koerner last Thursday. "We have not achieved results over many years and we do not have the right standing in EMEA."

While Credit Suisse is maintaining its presence in areas like leveraged finance in the US despite $120m of writedowns in Q3, leveraged finance bankers are among those being chopped in London. "Massive cuts are expected next week, but we have no real idea how they might look," says one London debt capital markets banker in the City. "Everyone I've spoken to at CS in London in the past few days now expects to get cut," says one headhunter. "They're just not sure when, but they think it might be next week."

The most optimistic CS bankers are apparently hoping to be employed for a further six months while they wait to see how the "Klein plan lands." However, the investment bank's $666m third quarter loss may preclude a long delay. So too may the bank's 89% collapse in capital markets revenues.

If CS bankers are let go in London next week, they're unlikely to receive a big payout. The bank's current rate of UK severance pay is understood to be a mere two weeks for each year of service. 

Not everyone is certain that Michael Klein's CS First Boston will be as great as Credit Suisse says it will.  "This is a bunch of leveraged finance and sponsor bankers masquerading as M&A bankers," one senior CS insider, told us. "The idea that it will be capital light is a kind of laughable."



Sarah Butcher is the global editor for eFinancialCareers.

An experienced financial journalist, Sarah joined eFinancialCareers full time in 2006 after writing freelance for us for many years. She’s held a number of roles in our team, including editor, ‘editor at large’, UK site editor, and now global editor.

Before joining eFinancialCareers, she spent many years freelancing for Financial News, during which time she also wrote regular pieces on management and property for the Financial Times. She’s also been known to write (under a pseudonym) for the Sunday Times.

A graduate from Oxford University in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Sarah was a contemporary of George Osborne, whom she never actually met. She did once attend a Piers Gaveston party, but in a purely observational capacity and saw no evidence of pigs.

When she’s not working, Sarah is walking her dog. Or gardening. Or trying to convince the cat that the dog won’t chase it given half the chance.    


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