The bonfire of Credit Suisse FX traders and salespeople
It's going to be a difficult week for FX salespeople and traders at Credit Suisse. Following swathes of job cuts last week, insiders say another deep round of cuts is due today.
Credit Suisse declined to comment on the cuts, which are understood to include most people in the bank's FX voice trading business globally. Senior people at the bank said most trading staff were cut last week and that the cuts had been global, afflicting people everywhere from London to New York, Singapore and Madrid.
"Most FX traders have gone. There's now only a skeleton team left in place to manage things down," says one insider. Another insider said that John Estrada, the Swiss bank's London-based global co-head of FX trading (who seems to be staying for the moment), was escorting people out of the building. "It was a surprising decision," says the insider. "We were consistently profitable, we had a good client base and were able to attract good talent."
If last week was the bonfire of the FX traders, this week will seemingly involve burning the FX salespeople. Multiple people at the bank say the sales team is expected to be let go today. "There is a dark cloud hanging over Credit Suisse," says one FX headhunter.
Some areas of the Credit Suisse FX business are staying, however. We understand that the bank is maintaining electronic FX trading. It's thought this will fall under the new markets leadership, including Michael Ebert, a former trader whom Credit Suisse hired from Bank of America in 2017 to run equity derivatives. Ebert is currently co-head of markets alongside Ken Pang.
The bank is also thought to be maintaining an FX trading presence in Zurich for the Swiss private wealth business. "There is basically no coverage for hedge funds," says one insider.
In the slide accompanying Credit Suisse's restructuring presentation, the bank said it would be aligning and streamlining the FX business. Emerging markets trading and financing is being wound down, and insiders said cuts are also likely here today.
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