- Credit Suisse has enacted a informal hiring freeze across some parts of its sales, trading, and research unit, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
- On some teams, managers have gone through the process of interviewing candidates, only to be told at the end of that process that they couldn’t hire because of an informal policy against it, two of the people said.
- A spokeswoman said the bank had not enacted an official hiring freeze: "Global Markets is not subject to any kind of hiring freeze," she said. "We are continuing to invest in our franchise, including recruiting top talent at all levels, across all of our businesses."
Credit Suisse has enacted a informal hiring freeze across some parts of its sales, trading and research unit, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The Swiss bank has limited hiring in its research division to only analysts and associates, according to one person with knowledge of the matter. Hires for director and higher are being discouraged, the person said.
On some teams, managers have gone through the process of interviewing candidates, only to be told at the end of that process that they couldn’t hire because of an informal policy against it, two of the people said.
"Global Markets is not subject to any kind of hiring freeze," Credit Suisse spokeswoman Karina Byrne said in an emailed statement. "We are continuing to invest in our franchise, including recruiting top talent at all levels, across all of our businesses."
Wall Street hiring is usually reserved for the first half of the year, though that hasn’t necessarily been true in recent years particularly across investment banking and equity derivatives. But the practice is intended to hire people at a time when they can still contribute meaningfully to their new firm before the end of the year.
Typically salespeople, traders, or bankers are reluctant to jump ship until they’ve received their bonuses from their old firms, usually in January or February. And then there’s the required "gardening leave" that could force a senior person to take three months off before joining the new firm. So someone hired in August, for example, might not join until November, just as trading and dealmaking slows for the holidays.
Nonetheless, the policy doesn’t bode well for Wall Street looking to find a home. Deutsche Bank last month announced plans to fire 18,000 people across its global operations. Citigroup is in the midst of firing hundreds of people across its equity and fixed-income trading division.
Credit Suisse’s informal hiring freeze comes even as the Swiss bank showed solid second-quarter results. Global markets turned in a $359 million profit in the second quarter. Revenue rose 8%, led by an 11% gain to $901 million in the fixed-income unit, and a 3% gain in equities trading to $510 million.
The global markets business housed 11,830 employees globally at the end of June, a 3% increase from the first quarter. The Swiss bank doesn’t give a breakdown in role or seniority level.
"Despite tougher market conditions, we saw positive operating leverage in the quarter, highlighting the strength of our diversified client franchise and our continued focus on disciplined resource management," the bank said in its earnings statement.
The year’s first half was on track to be the worst first half of trading for the 12 largest global investment banks since the financial crisis. The previous record was set in the first half of 2017, when banks turned in just $61 billion, according to Coalition data.
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