Dutch bank pulls out of equities

RABOBANK, the Dutch co-operative bank, is closing its London- based international equities operation and transferring its foreign exchange and derivatives business to its headquarters in Utrecht with the immediate loss of the 105 City jobs.

The move was not unexpected. The bank had suffered some high profile departures from its City operations recently after serious internal disagreements in strategy.

The decision to pull out of the international equity and forex business is nevertheless an embarrassing admission of failure for a bank which some recruited some big City signings two years ago.

High profile recruits include the banking analysts team headed by John Aitken who joined from UBS. Yesterday's cuts follow a decision announced by the bank on 11 June to cut costs and boost revenue.

Maarten Hulshoff, chief executive of Rabobank International - the group's wholesale arm - said: "These steps are designed to bring costs back on track.

"The priority remains to remove all unnecessary costs and complexities that have arisen with Rabobank International's rapid expansion."

After the cuts Rabobank will employ about 700 staff in London. It also has an office in Edinburgh.