Investment bank Merrill Lynch is continuing its cost-cutting programme with a freeze on staff recruitment that will cost further jobs in the UK.
Up to 5,000 jobs worldwide will be cut, including 400 in the City, as the company announced last week. This will now be followed by a recruitment freeze to reduce the company’s 4,500 London-based headcount.
A leaked memo from Gregory Fleming, president and chief operating officer, to Thomas Sanzone, chief administrative officer, at the bank’s New York head office said: “A global hiring freeze will be in place for the remainder of the year. This freeze covers any incremental hires including previously approved budgeted hires and replacement hires. This policy does not apply to financial advisers or client associates who the firm will continue to recruit and hire in line with business plans.
“Typically, the majority of the firm’s hiring occurs during the first and second quarters of the year with the third and fourth quarters progressively tapering off,” the memo said.
Meanwhile, a Merrill Lynch banker has commented on a UK financial news site to vent about the firm’s financial troubles, warning that the freeze was ‘just the tip of the iceberg’.