Late Lunchtime Links: Asian banking is seriously off the boil

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We've been saying that banks have been chasing fool's gold in Asia for several years. Now it seems other people are catching onto the same idea.Reuters notes today that Chinese banks have started cutting pay, slashing bonuses, and freezing salaries. There are so few IPOs going on in China, that Bloomberg claims  China's ECM bankers are turning to their hands to debt deals. Competition is fierce, idlers are being culled. ""It's going to be difficult and painful," a Chinese banker informs Reuters. "You have way too many banks here and a lot of them are losing money."

As we observed last week, Citigroup's Asian revenues fell 1% last year, marking the end of a lacklustre 2012 for most US banks in the region. 

Quartz draws our attention to an interesting study by Euromoney which shows that banks' Asian revenues have been stagnant since 2010 and that banks in Asia are far too reliant on ECM.  "Global banks have never made much money in Asia compared with the US and Europe," Quartz reflects. 2013 may be the year that banks wake up and finally face reality.


“I think morale is good,” said Michael Corbat, without saying whether the Citigroup plans to cut more jobs. (Bloomberg) 

Pradeep Swamy, head of convertible bond trading for Barclays in Asia, has left the bank. (Bloomberg)  

What banks say when they don’t want to pay your bonus. (Wall Street Oasis) 

Commerzbank is cutting up to 6,000 jobs. (Financial Times)

Unicredit is cutting 1,000 jobs in Germany. (Financial Times) 

Austria introduces five year bonus deferrals. (Bloomberg)  

Barclays will only cut 70 jobs in Asia, say two people. (Bloomberg)

Bad bonuses at Credit Suisse. (Dealbreaker) 

JPMorgan is replacing its existing head of compliance with its previous co-chief of control. (Bloomberg) 

2,500 jobs coming at McDonalds. (Telegraph)