Morning Coffee: BNP Paribas just dumped on its contract staff. Equities layoffs coming here

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BNP Paribas is getting nasty. After spending years pursuing a strategy of reducing costs by being 'simple and efficient', it's opting for a more brutal solution of cutting costs by 20% over an unspecified time period according to a report in Les Echos. This might be why it's given its technology contract staff a nasty ultimatum.

Contractor UK reports that BNP Paribas has threatened its, 'entire temporary IT workforce with termination' unless they agree to take a pay cut of at least 4% by early July. Some teams are said to have suffered mass departures as a result. One BNP contractor said the French bank will regret giving its contractors cause to quit just before the 'summer lull' when finding replacements is likely to be difficult.

Separately, 2015 is the year of the equities salesperson and trader - unless you're at HSBC. While banks like Deutsche and Barclays are busy orientating their investment banks in favour of the equities business, HSBC's equities staff are seen as most at risk. Bloomberg quotes an HSBC source who says the bank's equities division offers the lowest returns and should be first in line for cuts which are expected to be announced at HSBC's investor day on Tuesday. “If cuts are coming it seems most likely that its sub-scale equities business could be a candidate,” agreed Jonathan Tyce, senior banks analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence in London. “FX, credit and rates go hand in hand with its client facilitation revenues, and must be core going forward."


HSBC cut headcount by 40,000 between 2011 and 2013 and its returns have still gone down. (Financial Times)  

Another UBS equities trader has gone to KCG. This time it’s Chris Townsend, who’s joining as a senior quantitative trader in its European market-making business. (Financial News)

Nomura has been quietly growing a team it created late last year to take on risk to make markets in cash equities. It's moved several of its existing traders into the 12 man-team, along with Citigroup trader Richard Lester to cover financials and ex-HSBC trader Leigh Adams to focus on technology, media, telecoms and consumer. There have also been hires from Morgan Stanley and Millennium. (Financial News)  

Credit Suisse is building a specialized team in Canada to take advantage of an increase in interest from big energy and financial players in oil and gas assets that are being sold by companies weakened by lower oil prices. (Reuters) 

Jefferies is expanding its European CLO team. (Reuters)  

Completing all three levels of the CFA costs about $3,000 and takes an average of four years. (Bloomberg) 

Barclays declined to say whether Justin Kwan is still employed. (BloombergView) 

You know it’s time for a career change when… (Huffington Post) 

How to troll the CFA exam candidates in your life. (Alphaville) 

A test to establish whether you're ready for an internship in a biotech hedge fund. (Forbes) 

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