Equities suffered a difficult year due to the eurozone crisis, a slowdown in growth in China and recessions in nearly all major developed countries. Demand for equities slackened off as fund managers wrestled with shrinking portfolios and bad returns. As a reaction to this, banks cut their equity sales teams, with European equities particularly badly hit. Average team sizes have shrunk from 12 to 8 and bonuses are expected to be low.
Global transactional banking was an important growth area for retail banks last year because it’s a low-risk way of generating income. So they invested heavily in staff to help sell their offerings. Further hires in this area are likely to be made during 2013, although transaction strategy experts are most keenly sought after and there is a shortage of them in the market. Banks will need to pay a premium to secure the best candidates.