Swiss bank wields axe to add to City's job woes

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The Independent Online

More job losses loom in the banking sector as the Swiss private bank Julius Baer plans to cut up to 880 staff.

The jobs will go at Bank of America Merrill Lynch's overseas wealth management business, bought by Baer for 1.47bn Swiss francs (£970m) in August, as the integration of the unit gets under way, according to reports in Switzerland.

More job losses are likely in the City as Baer – Switzerland's biggest dedicated wealth manager – faces substantial overlaps in Singapore, Hong Kong and London as well as Switzerland.

Boris Collardi, chief executive, recently told an investor meeting that between 30 and 40 per cent of the unit's 2,200 jobs will have to go.

The bank declined to comment on reports of the cuts.

Baer swooped for the Merrill Lynch unit in August as it seeks to expand in fast-growing emerging markets, although its shares were hit as investors balked at the cost of the deal.

The latest cull comes amid thousands of job cuts announced by Credit Suisse, UBS, Deutsche Bank and Barclays. According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, the firing spree will see the number of bankers working in the City fall to 255,000 – 100,000 fewer than five years ago.