Morgan Stanley planning to cut 1,500 jobs globally

Bloomberg

Wed, Dec 11, 2019 - Page 10

Morgan Stanley is cutting about 1,500 jobs globally, including several managing directors, as part of a year-end efficiency push.

The cuts are skewed toward technology and operations divisions, but also include executives in sales, trading and research operations, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The reductions amount to about 2 percent of the firm’s workforce, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

The bank plans to take a charge in the range of US$150 million to US$200 million in its fourth-quarter results tied to the cost of the cuts, one person said.

Investment banks around the world have been trimming staff amid a slump in trading revenue and the expectation that more of the business would move to electronic platforms that require fewer humans. Citigroup Inc and Deutsche Bank AG are among firms that have cut hundreds of trading jobs this year.

A spokesman at New York-based Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

The Wall Street firm has been in the spotlight for an investigation into its currency-options desks.

The bank is probing whether traders improperly valued the esoteric securities, concealing as much as US$140 million of losses, Bloomberg reported last month.

The cuts being carried out also include senior executives on its currency and bond desks in New York and London.

Separately, HSBC Holdings PLC is looking to sell part or all of its retail banking business in France, which employs thousands of people, sources close to the negotiations said on Monday.

A company source confirmed details reported in French financial newspaper Les Echos that discussions are to begin with French and foreign banks who have shown an interest.

HSBC has more than 8,500 employees in France, many of whom work in the retail business.

The London-based, Asia-focused bank has been trying to lower costs as it faces uncertainties caused by the US-China trade dispute and the UK’s possible departure from the EU.

HSBC did not confirm the report, saying only that a strategic review is underway, but no decision has been taken.

French Democratic Confederation of Labour union delegate Pascal Montmain said that he had been in a meeting with senior management, who had said they were looking at internal restructuring or the transfer of part of the bank’s retail activities.

Additional reporting by AFP