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Morning Coffee: HSBC paying for 6 month nannies as perks make a comeback. The sorry state of consultants

To clarify from the start: if you work for HSBC in London or Hong Kong and you want the bank to pay for your nanny, it is not going to happen. Only some HSBC people get the nanny, and they are in India. But as perks make a comeback, it is something to aspire to.

Bloomberg reports that parental perks in India are some of the best in the world. Not only does HSBC pay for six month nannies (after the mandatory 26 weeks maternity leave on full pay), but Morgan Stanley pays for cab rides to the office for its pregnant employees and Citi allows its female employees to work from home for a year after maternity leave.

As banks everywhere try to hire and retain women and to persuade people back to the office, the Indian perks are an example of what might be done to convince women with children that banks are good employers with their best interests at heart.

The revelation of banks' generosity on the subcontinent comes as big tech employers are also commanding employees to return and are equally discovering that small things matter: Meta has reportedly begun giving employees branded T-shirts again, as well as offering laundry services, haircuts and free food. There is a cost to getting people back to the office, and it entails gifts biryani at 6pm.

Separately, the Financial Times surveyed 320 consultants globally and found that their lives are not easy and that there are some parallels to those of investment bankers. 

One 23 year-old associate consultant in New York said she felt "horrible pressure" to perform for fear that she would be laid off. A managing partner said he was working harder to attract customers, "because there is less work out there than before.” A consultant in Paris complained that he was being dragged onto 7pm video calls on Friday nights.

While bankers complain of 80-100 hour weeks, though, the consultants the FT spoke to were peaking at 60-70 hour weeks, so that's a thing. Consultants were also benefitting from more homeworking than in the past: one said he'd clawed back time from his commute and was reapplying it to walking the dog...

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Meanwhile...

Goldman Sachs hiked pay by 10% for its European staff working for Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE. They received an average pay packet of €244.5k ($261k) for the first half of 2023. This compares with an average payment of $365k for employees in the UK operations. (Financial News) 

Three former Qatalyst Partners bankers have formed a new investment banking boutique called AXOM Partners, which will focus on advising technology companies on mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Employees will receive a share of the profits. (Reuters) 

Staff turnover at Big Four firms in the UK is down 40%. They're being forced to cut staff as a result. (Financial News)

For the first time in a long time, European banks might be in a better position than US banks. They're under less regulatory pressure and they don't have as many unrealized losses on securities because they held cash instead. European banks are, however, more exposed to the precarious residential property market... (LoomisSayles) 

UBS needs to bring 1.5m Credit Suisse accounts into its own IT framework at a cost of between $1bn and $3bn. (Bloomberg) 

Morgan Stanley is being sued for $750m by private equity firms saying they were defrauded in a deal to invest in a credit agreement for a luxury high-speed rail line. (Bloomberg)

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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