The great fixed income currencies and commodities retreat is underway. After months of consultation, people are actually losing their jobs.
In the last couple of weeks, recruiters claim around 60 people have been plucked from BarCap's FICC business and tossed onto the employment market.
"It seemed to be a question of last in first out at BarCap," claims one fixed income markets headhunter. "We saw a lot of associate 2 and 3 people from sales and trading, but there were also a few heads of desks. It seemed to be all asset classes, but with a particular focus on emerging markets and rates."
Nomura also made a few FICC redundancies last week, but the cuts were apparently less savage than elsewhere.
This week, various headhunters say Credit Suisse's FICC business will feel the full force of declining revenues and disappointed expectations. In the first half of 2011, the cost/revenue ratio at Credit Suisse's investment bank was 80% and FICC revenues declined nearly 25% (year-on-year). In July, Brady Dougan announced 2,000 redundancies, of which around 1,500 are expected to happen outside Switzerland. In the next few days, headhunters claim Credit Suisse's FICC staff in London will feel the repercussions.
"We're hearing a lot of MDs will be cut," says one. "There are going to be cuts in FX," claims another. Credit Suisse reportedly eliminated 10% of its equities staff a few weeks ago.
However, the most eviscerating eliminations in FICC may yet be reserved for UBS. Following on from last week's wrongfulness, UBS's senior management is convening in Singapore this week. There, they are expected to think upon the future of the investment bank. According to the Financial Times, Carsten Kengeter is preparing to speed up the bank's restructuring and the prime area for rearrangement will be fixed income currencies and commodities.
It could be worse. Yesterday, Social Democrats in the Swiss parliament only narrowly lost a vote to reopen a debate on capital requirements for UBS and Credit Suisse in order that they could add a measure banning the two banks from investment banking altogether.