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Banker gloom at City job slump

Some might call it karma, but that won’t console bankers and financial services workers looking for a job. The number of financial workers now stands at 152,000, the lowest level since 2004. Since the financial crisis (you remember, the one caused by banks) UK banks have shed around 20,000 frontline staff.

Barclays have reduced their City staff by nearly 600, while Lloyds have reduced a staff of 2000 to around 1,100. Pessimists (or perhaps realists) are suggesting that the job cuts are part of a phoney war and the real casualties are yet to come.

Deutsche Bank warned that investment banks could cull as much as 7 percent of their staff in 2013. The German bank said that it was estimating that banks would cut about 25 percent of their staff from the peak numbers. "Most cost cutting in the last 18 months has been shedding headcount added in the mini-bull market of late 2009 and early 2010," the bank’s spokesperson told The Telegraph. "Only in the second half of 2012 has true cost reduction gathered momentum."

It’s bleak news for the banking sector, which is having to adjust to new realities after a free-for-all climate of huge bonuses, minimal regulation and a booming City. Industry analysts are already suggesting that the era of bonuses is ending. One recruitment firm suggests that bonuses will be down by about 30 percent in 2013, and that the message from some banks to the workforce amounts to "your job is your bonus".

Those who were about to break out the violins for those poor bankers out of a job might like to pause a little. Many former bankers are setting up their own consultancy companies or using their extensive contacts to move into the corporate sector. It might not be as lucrative as the glory days of banking, but it’s hardly the breadline either.

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