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Banking Briefing: Time to let go or get going?

  • As deal-making hits new lows on Wall Street, banks are letting go of employees left and right.
  • But on the flip side, so are lots of fintechs – is it time for banks to zero in on this new talent pool?

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Banking Briefing: Time to let go or get going?

In the last briefing, we focused on fintech layoffs, bringing special attention to Chime cutting 12% of its workforce.

Oof, that’s gotta hurt.

Wall Street banks are taking a hit as well, though. And that’s in light of the downturn in deal-making we’re seeing. Here’s some of what’s happened so far:

  • Citigroup let go of around 50 people within its trading personnel. It also scratched dozens of jobs within its trading division.
  • Barclays cut around 200 jobs within its banking and trading desks.
  • Credit Suisse says it’s planning to let go of 2,700 employees in Q4 and 9,000 positions by 2025.

And as M&A deals diminish, so do bonus checks. Bankers involved in these deals are expected to see a 20% cut to their bonus checks this year.

As a side note, counterparts in underwriting are expected to see an even bigger drop, with incentive pay going down as much as 45%. Investment revenue at some of the biggest Wall Street firms, meanwhile, has gone down over 45% in the past 9 months.

Has the war for talent dissolved? Looking at banks' LinkedIn job ads

There’s a lot of talk about layoffs lately. But what happened to all that tech talent hype we kept hearing about before?

It’s true you need to take LinkedIn with a grain of salt – after all, companies want to put their best foot forward (and then re-post about said foot over and over and over again…but I digress).

Still, it does paint some sort of picture, and in this case, the picture it’s painting is displaying a few techy hues. Here are a handful of job ads I’ve caught sight of:


Blockchain/Digital Assets Technology Lead (posted 1 week ago)

“We are currently looking for a seasoned senior leader with a strong background in the Blockchain/Digital Assets Technology space to become the Technology Product Manager for many of the Digital Assets initiatives we have in our Treasury & Trade business in Citi. The ideal candidate is a senior leader with strong DLT/Blockchain background in the financial industry, with a track record of building world-class products in large and complex environments.”

JPMorgan Chase

Director of technology – services engineering lead (posted two weeks ago)

“As a leader in the Digital Investment Banking Technology organization and as our services engineering lead, you will lead a strong team of dedicated engineers. You’ll drive the technical product vision, work closely with our cross-functional teams to define product requirements, build highly technical solutions, coordinate resources from other groups (design, legal, business users, etc.), and guide the team through key milestones. You'll also be responsible for identifying and tracking key performance metrics. We’re looking for an exceptional team lead who has a strong interest in digital technologies, can think big and execute on that vision, and thrives on new challenges.”

Capital One

Distinguished Engineer (Remote Eligible) (posted one week ago)

“Distinguished Engineers are individual contributors who strive to be diverse in thought so we visualize the problem space. At Capital One, we believe diversity of thought strengthens our ability to influence, collaborate and provide the most innovative solutions across organizational boundaries. Distinguished Engineers will significantly impact our trajectory and devise clear roadmaps to deliver next generation technology solutions.”

A takeaway: Now may be the time for banks' race for talent

An interesting read from The Financial Brand: as fintech firms that previously relied heavily on funding must now let go of all sorts of new tech hires, this gives banks an opportunity to zero in on this recently freed up talent pool.

But clicking the ‘acquisition’ button, or the ‘plus’ button on salaries, may not be enough to win these people over, says Alyson Clarke, principal analyst at Forrester, in her conversation with The Financial Brand.

The real challenge here is adjusting the bank’s culture so that fintech execs stick around even when the economy sees an upturn once again.

“Often many fintech executives may have originally come from traditional banking and financial services. They moved away to fintech because they didn’t feel like the banking culture was right for them. They wanted to do more innovative things, and to move faster.” – Alyson Clarke, principal analyst at Forrester

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