Students in Europe are less likely to apply for investment banks’ graduate schemes than their counterparts in the US and Asia.
Graduates’ interest in investment banking careers has declined globally since the financial crisis and subsequent increase in layoffs and pay cuts in the industry. But the large US institutions remain attractive to US graduates, according to the 2012 ‘ideal employer’ rankings from research firm Universum. In Europe, however, the banking sector’s appeal has taken a battering.
Deutsche Bank is the highest ranking institution, coming in at 16in Universum’s European league tables, followed by Goldman Sachs (17), J.P. Morgan (18), HSBC (28) and Morgan Stanley (30). Swiss banks don’t fare well, with Credit Suisse in the 33rd spot and UBS 39th. Bank of America Merrill Lynch (38), Barclays (47) and SocGen (49) also performed poorly.
In contrast, US students are still keen to work for the bulge bracket banks. J.P. Morgan is 6th, followed by Goldman Sachs (9), Morgan Stanley (15) and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (18). Of the European banks, only Barclays (49) makes an appearance in the top 50.
London has been hit disproportionately hard by recent job cuts in the investment banking sector, remuneration regulations from the Financial Services Authority (and potentially more onerous pay clampdowns from Europe) and headline grabbing scandals have undoubtedly dented its reputation. This appears to have hit home with students.
Graduate recruiters have told eFinancialCareers that applications are down this year by between 10% and 20%, but insist they aren’t having trouble filling available positions.
In the front office, investment banks have been filling more of their places for graduates by offering their interns fulltime employment. Barclays, Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Nomura had filled all their 2013 sales and trading or M&A positions in London even before applications opened. They may struggle to do this next year, however.
In Asia, banks’ appeal is more middling. Again, J.P. Morgan (12) and Goldman Sachs (13) outperform their peers, followed by Citi (14), Morgan Stanley (17) and HSBC (24).