Morning Coffee: The GOOD news for RBS's London investment bankers. Cruelest joke ever played at a brokerage firm

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RBS has already distilled its investment bank down more than any of its rivals. Between 2008 and 2013, around 40,000 jobs were cut across the operation. However, it seems that was not enough: under a restructuring plan reportedly code-named 'Project Cook', the Financial Times reports that RBS plans to make another 30,000 job cuts over the next few years.

Predictably, the investment bank will be heavily hit. The FT says RBS is planning to, "retreat from its US and Asian markets businesses, and...take the axe to central functions such as finance, risk and accounting." If this sounds bad, it's not as it could have been. As Bloomberg points out, RBS has already sold much of its Asian investment banking business to CIMB Group Holdings, which bought its cash equities and investment banking units back in 2012. In the U.S., it sounds like RBS wants to dump its (previously) lucrative Greenwich Capital Markets business, which has always looked incongruous as part of a government-owned British bank. However, this too is likely to be spun out and sold rather simply shuttered.

With Asia and the U.S. bearing the brunt of the cuts, RBS's London fixed income bankers could find themselves comparatively unscathed. Sure, RBS wants to cut costs from support functions, but everyone's doing that - even BNP Paribas. The cuts at the British bank are bad news, but not nearly as bad as they could have been.

Separately, a group of brokers have played a cruel joked on a traumatized colleague. Robin Clark was shot in the leg by an unknown hit man at an Essex train station last month. When Clark returned to work at brokerage firm RP Martin, colleagues reportedly sneaked up behind him and shouted "Bang!" Clark fell over and reopened his leg wound, compelling him to return to hospital.


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