Jobs, and job prospects, for technologists at the large European investment banks

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The third quarter results of Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and UBS have all been released and job cuts and cost-reduction remains the order of the day. While much of the focus of impeding redundancies has been on the prospects for investment bankers (particularly fixed income specialists at UBS), the banks are trying to balance the impetus to scale back technology spend with the need to continue to innovate.

We’ve already looked at the prospects for technologists at the large US investment banks. What’s the situation at their European counterparts? Where possible, we’ve looked at budgets for IT infrastructure and hardware, as well as were they’re hiring currently and what the potential for recruitment down the line is.

Credit Suisse

Tech budget year-on-year to September: +4%

Current recruitment: Globally, the bank has 168 tech vacancies, although 65 of these are based out of Wraclow, 22 in India and 19 within its nearshore US office in Raleigh, North Carolina. There are, however, a relatively healthy 36 jobs in London. They’re focused on senior developers, business analysts or project managers as well as more specialist domain expertise like risk, fixed income and credit. In New York, meanwhile, there are 19 roles, focused on front office credit development positions, project management and infrastructure.

Prospects: Poor. While all signs point to the fact that senior and specialist IT roles will remain in London and New York, there’s no denying the acceleration of nearshoring technology functions. As part of its cost-cutting drive, Credit Suisse aims to strip out CHF1.1bn from ‘infrastructure’, which will inevitably include IT. The bank has been advertising for German-speaking technologists to work in Poland since 2009, it has a graduate scheme for IT there and the bank’s finance chief, David Mathers, said last week that more IT jobs would be shifted to lower cost destinations. This will primarily affect technologists in Switzerland and Singapore, but will inevitably put a dampener in recruitment in London. Back in 2010, for instance, Credit Suisse had nearly 200 IT vacancies in London…

Deutsche Bank:

Tech budget year-on-year to September: Not stated

Current recruitment: Deutsche Bank has around 100 IT vacancies globally, but it doesn’t look great if you have aspirations to work in London or New York. It has 20 jobs in its Russian operation including a number of development roles for its much-vaunted Autobahn FX platform and QA positions. There are 50 positions in the US, but just three specialist and senior positions are in New York, with the remainder spread across offices in Jacksonville, Florida and Cary, North Carolina. Nearshoring is in action in the UK too, with 20 positions within its Birmingham office and just three in London.

Prospects: Not great. During its strategy presentation, Deutsche’s chief executive pointed to how there was “entirely too much infrastructure staff sitting in expensive locations in New York and London” and that €700m would be stripped out of technology spend across the group. Headhunters remain convinced that large front office projects could soon filter down to technology recruitment in London, but so far there’s little indication of this. Deutsche has released some new innovations to its Autobahn app and has been hiring in London as a result. However, the bank does appear to be looking for cheaper alternatives to large-scale development projects; not least through its ‘Lodestone Foundation’ initiative, which is encouraging banks to share technology.

UBS:

Tech budget year-on-year to September: General IT spend has increased by 9.5%, while IT outsourcing costs have risen by 14%.

Current recruitment: Just 16 roles globally, which is not surprising considering the fact that the bank is set to implement a further 10,000 redundancies. Even more depressingly, 8 of these jobs are based in its corporate centre in Krakow, Poland, and the remainder split between Hong Kong and Switzerland. There are, however, some London vacancies for front office developers and project managers, as well as an outsourcing and offshoring expert.

Prospects: Assuming your office pass still works, don’t expect many new opportunities in London any time soon. Like Credit Suisse, UBS is focusing firmly on shifting IT jobs to cheaper locations, hence reports of up to 2,000 tech job cuts. In fact, 5,500 jobs are to go from the back office, so expect IT to be included in this. The only upside is that recruiters in the City still view UBS IT professionals as valuable commodities.

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