Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (MUFG) unveiled widespread job cuts at its Asia-Pacific securities business, as Japan’s biggest bank tackles growing pressures on profitability.
MUFG is cutting about 60 employees, or less than 40 percent of staff at its securities operation in Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney, a person with knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be identified.
Other employees might also leave if they turn down offers to relocate, the person added.
The cuts announced internally on Thursday are the culmination of a review conducted after CEO Kanetsugu Mike said the group’s global sales and trading business had been struggling and needed reassessment.
MUFG becomes the latest bank worldwide to slash jobs as rock bottom interest rates and slowing economic growth cloud the outlook.
The move would affect businesses including credit trading, equities and structured products, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg.
The securities business would no longer provide clients outside Japan a service for G-3 rates, except for the yen, the memo showed.
The firm is to relocate some functions to Tokyo and Hong Kong, according to the document.
Staff were informed in a townhall meeting in Hong Kong on Thursday afternoon, the person said.
Business heads are to notify affected employees on the terms of their redundancy, the memo said.
“We remain committed to our Asia securities business, acknowledging the necessary contribution it makes to our international securities platform,” the firm said in the document.
A representative of the brokerage in Hong Kong declined to comment.
MUFG had already been relocating securities staff in the region. It moved its Hong Kong rates trading desk functions to London earlier this year, saying it was not cost-efficient to operate in the territory while trading the same products in Tokyo.
The bank is also paring jobs in London, saying in July that it plans to cut 50 managerial positions in the city. It has set up a securities unit in Amsterdam in preparation for Brexit.
In Japan, Tokyo-based MUFG conducts its securities business through joint ventures with Morgan Stanley.
Banks around the world have announced almost 60,000 job cuts this year, with the vast majority coming from lenders in Europe, where negative interest rates and a slowing economy are prompting them to pare expenses.
Japanese banks also face pressures from negative rates, as well as a shrinking population.
While that has forced cost cuts, it has also prompted the lenders to expand in areas with greater growth prospects, such as Southeast Asia.
Credit trading is to move to Tokyo over the next six months, the memo showed.
Credit & O-to-D sales teams are to remain in Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney, with support function in Hong Kong and a limited presence in Singapore.
Equity solutions are to move to Hong Kong from Singapore to be with the rest of the structured solutions team.
International Japanese equities business are to be booked in London, with equity trading shifting to Tokyo.
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