City & Business: Watch your back

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A measure of how far the financial services revolution has to go may be taken from the record City bonuses being doled out this holiday season. Since the single most important objective of banking mergers is to cut costs, and since the biggest cost in banking is people, the fact that banks are still throwing money at City stars that the consolidation of the sector has a long way to go.

The tide may now be turning. SBC/UBS will lose 10,000 employees by merging. Most of those made redundant will be Swiss clerks. In Switzerland. But hundreds of City professionals will soon be pounding the pavement too.

One of these days the consolidation of banking is going to touch the very individuals managing that consolidation. When that happens, banking will be seen for what it is: an industry devouring itself. Some will call this rough justice, others the creative destruction of capitalism.