James Moore: Only 'mercenaries' are right for this job

Outlook "Mercenaries," is the term former UBS boss Marcel Rohner, has used to describe traders the bank hired from rivals who got involved in the Libor-fixing scandal.

They cost the bank £900m in fines, and much of what remained of its good name. The impression given by Mr Rohner was that if UBS hired more graduate trainees and immersed them in its benign culture, it might not have happened.

The Independent's story on Barclays yesterday morning provides an example of why that view is disingenuous at best. Its investment-banking arm is planning to export what could end up to be several hundred roles to India. They're largely relatively modestly rewarded back-office people, but don't think for a moment that the bank wouldn't shift better-rewarded staff – analysts are an example of where this has been tried – overseas if it identified an opportunity to do so. The same goes for other banks. Doing it saves money, and enhances the bonus pools for the men at the top.

It also explains why staff at banks behave as mercenaries. Working for institutions that will shift their jobs half way around the world at the drop of a hat, how could they act in any other way?

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