A horrible hacking sound is coming from Canary Wharf. Rumour has it as many as 1,000 Citigroup jobs in London are on the block.
After weeks of speculation, the degree of damage at the bank is now clear. Robert Druskin, Citigroup's chief operating officer said yesterday that 17,000 jobs will go globally. Another 9,500 will be shifted to lower-cost overseas locations like Poland and India.
The cuts look likely to entail the forcible removal of otherwise contented employees. Financial News quotes Gary Crittenden, chief financial officer for the bank, as saying they will mostly be 'layoffs' - as opposed to voluntary redundancies.
Although Druskin declined to say precisely where and in which divisions heads will roll, the Evening Standard suggests as many as 1,000 will go in London, with 'poor performers', 'managerial roles' in the investment bank, and employees in the wealth management arm likely to prove particularly susceptible (although this seems slightly dubious given that Citi's been building its UK private banking operations recently).
We say the bank's operations and IT staff will bear the brunt of the blow, with Druskin saying the bank has plans to consolidate "some back-office, middle-office and corporate functions at business, regional and headquarter levels".
By comparison, the bank's derivatives staff are likely to be relatively safe - Druskin reportedly told CNBC that structured products are the "keys to its basket of goods and services".