Japan’s biggest bank offers redundancy to hundreds of managers in London

MUFG is offering voluntary redundancy packages to about 500 employees

MUFG employs around 2,000 employees in London. Reuters
MUFG employs around 2,000 employees in London. Reuters

Mitsubishi Financial Group is preparing major job cuts in London, another sign of the deepening troubles Japan’s banks face at their overseas operations.

MUFG, the country’s largest lender, is offering voluntary redundancy packages to about 500 employees - including many senior officials - in London, according to an emailed statement. That is roughly a quarter of its workforce in the city.

Japanese financial firms have been expanding abroad to make up for a squeeze on profits from rock-bottom interest rates and slow economic growth at home. Now they are in cost-cutting mode, with Nomura Holdings eliminating dozens of jobs in London this year as the nation’s largest investment bank tries to return its overseas operations to profit.

“We have implemented this voluntary retirement programme to enhance our competitiveness given the severe business environment, such as persistently low interest rates,” Tokyo-based MUFG said in the statement. “We remain committed to London and the European region, and wish to make further contributions to this important market.”

MUFG will accept applications until the end of July and the number of retirees will be decided on that basis, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Financial News reported the plans earlier, saying that Brexit was not a factor in the decision. Still, it is another blow for London’s financial industry as banks prepare to move hundreds of employees from the city to elsewhere in Europe in preparation for the UK’s exit from the bloc. MUFG has set up commercial banking and securities businesses in Amsterdam.

MUFG has about 2,000 employees in London, the base for its operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It offers services ranging from corporate finance to structured finance and capital markets. The region accounted for almost 6 per cent of group revenue in the year ended March 2018, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Published: June 1, 2019 08:00 AM


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