Remember, back in late December, when RBS sent out a holiday card to employees telling them to buck up, because, contrary to what everyone had heard, management would not be taking a “knee-jerk approach” to laying off employees, but rather thoughtfully “re-examining business strategy and resource deployment” and hey, maybe they wouldn’t end up firing that many people at all? Well, they thought about it, and here’s what they came up with: Read more »
The bank will apparently be offering a few more details on the cuts management has been mulling over since since the third quarter of last year. Read more »
Earlier this week, it was reported that RBS would be taking the next couple months to decide which businesses it wants to “remain in” and which it doesn’t. Management was said to be considering “shutting or selling” its equities unit and, as these things go, laying off the 1,000 people it employs, as well as others who may find themselves working in a division the royalest bank isn’t so keen on anymore. As humans tend not to look on the bright side of potentially getting fired, the staff has been in a bit of a funk lately. Hearing the team needed some frowns turned upside down, Global Banking & Markets CEO John Hourican sent out a memo this morning attempting to do just that, by noting 1) that everything everyone’s read about layoffs and the closing of entire business units is true, but that all that was communicated, like, a couple months ago, so let’s not act like it’s coming as a shock 2) everyone in finance is making tough choices right now 3) obviously, though, we’ve had our teeth kicked in harder than most 4) contrary to popular belief, we’re not just putting your names in a hat and deciding who gets fired from there 5) Happy holidays. Do something nice for yourself, you deserve it. Read more »
Sometimes when we say that a financial report is a fun read we mean “in a nerdy, full of charts way,” but the British Financial Services Agency report on the implosion of RBS is actually quite full of bitchy gossip, though also 450 pages long so possibly not holiday-travel plane reading. Let the Guardian fill in the brackets:
Johnny Cameron, the former head of Royal Bank of Scotland’s investment banking division, has admitted he did not know how billions of pounds of complex loan structures linked to US sub-prime mortgages worked – despite pushing his staff to expand aggressively into this area. …
Cameron told the FSA: “I don’t think, even at that point [May 2007, well after sub-prime problems had begun to spiral in the US] … I had enough information. Brian [Crowe, his deputy] may have thought I understood more than I did … And it’s around this time that I became clearer on what CDOs [collateralised debt obligations] were.”
The dynamic here is kind of fun to picture: Cameron is a traditional corporate banker, used to glad-handing clients and sounding smart, in the senior role. Crowe is the harder-charging guy from a trading background. The report quotes a subordinate as saying “Johnny was the bigger thinker, more customer involvement. Brian was more focused on the markets and market risks.” You can imagine Crowe saying things like “Gaussian copula” and “DV01″ and “CDO,” and Cameron mumbling “yes, precisely so, I agree completely, more tea my good chap?” I’m pretty sure “Brian may have thought I understood more than I did” because Cameron wouldn’t dream of correcting him. Read more »
It’s called you’ll get nothing and you’ll like it. Read more »
Cuts going down circa now. Read more »
As you may have heard, the last several years have not been so hot for RBS. In the last 12 months alone, the bank beat expectation by posting “a bigger-than-estimated first quarter loss” (with a loss of 1.4 billion pounds for the first half), employees have gotten canned, management has already informed staff that 2011 bonuses will be less than 2010′s, you can’t say “ABN Amro” without getting tased, they’re still mopping up the mess from ToiletGate, they just got downgraded by Fitch, and the Queen is riding all their asses. What was left to look forward to? Not much at all but at least there was the annual Christmas party which, since 2008 has amounted to one bag of (fun size) chips per head. It wasn’t a lot but it was something and now? It’s gone.
RBS is canceling Christmas for its investment bankers this year as the government-owned lender tries to reduce costs.
Okay, so, no Christmas party seems a bit harsh but employees can still get into the holiday spirit with non-Christ-based soirées, right? WRONG! There will be no Halloween parties, no pre-Thanksgiving raves, no New Year’s bashes, no Beamer’s Appreciation Day on RBS’s watch. Read more »