Major banks have announced some 160,000 job cuts since early last year and with more lay-offs to come as the industry restructures, many will leave the shrinking sector for good as redundancies outpace new hires by roughly two-to-one.
A Reuters analysis of job cuts announced by 29 major banks showed the lay-offs were much bigger in Europe than in Asia or the United States. That is a particular blow to Britain where the finance industry makes up roughly 10% of the economy.
The tally of nearly 160,000 job cut plans, meanwhile, is likely to be a conservative estimate as smaller banks and brokers are also cutting staff or shutting up shop, and bigger banks have not always disclosed target numbers of lay-offs.
The tally also does not include reports of 6,000 job cuts to come at Commerzbank, for example, which the German group would not confirm last week.
Well-paid investment bankers are bearing the brunt of cost cuts as deals dry up and trading income falls. That is particularly the case in some activities such as stock trading, where low volumes and thin margins are squeezing banks.