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Concern at death of banking associate: "FIG teams are the worst"

As we reported yesterday, a financial institutions group (FIG) associate has died at a major US bank in New York City. The cause of his death is unclear. There are unconfirmed suggestions that he worked long hours for weeks prior to his passing. There have also been unconfirmed suggestions on Instagram that he had existing health issues. Colleagues are understood to be devastated, and his family have requested space to grieve and to process his passing.

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Whether the cause of the associate's death was linked to long working hours and - by implication - to a lack of sleep, sources across the banking say life in FIG teams can be particularly harsh.

"When I worked in a FIG team it was the worst experience of my career," says one technology banker. "This is largely because working for other bankers as your clients sucks."

Posts on social media suggest that the associate who died had worked 120-hour weeks for multiple weeks running. However, it is not clear whether these claims come from individuals within the bank or not. Some social media posts are thought to come from people without direct knowledge of the situation.

The death of the popular associate has nonetheless prompted outrage among many in the industry, who feel that working hours are still excessive and that banks aren't doing enough to care for junior staff. An academic study of late night cab journeys from banks in 2021 found that the imposition of "protected Saturdays" to give juniors at least one day off each week had simply redistributed working hours to weeknights instead. 

A junior at another bank tells us that FIG teams are notoriously hardworking. "I was easily working 100-hour weeks when I was in FIG," he says. "The banks said they had policies in place to protect us, but they were just lip service, really." It can also be particularly difficult to move out of FIG teams, making it challenging to find alternative roles elsewhere. 

It will be sometime before the cause of the associate's death has been determined. Until then, pressure to monitor and reduce working hours in banking is likely to remain high. Sources told us in March that hours have crept back up again. 

"I'm no stranger to very long weeks on live deals," says one associate, describing himself as "appalled and disgusted" at the unconfirmed suggestions that someone in the industry died as a result of excessive working hours.

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Photo by Tim Hüfner on Unsplash

 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Jo
    John Doe
    7 May 2024

    What a disgusting piece of gutter ’journalism’ this is.


    ”his family have requested space to grieve and to process his passing.”


    But let’s instead post unsubstantiated speculation for thousands to read about the area he worked in, his working hours and whether he had underlying health conditions, and make vague suggestions about whether they may have caused his death.

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