Market trading is booming at U.S. and European banks thanks to Donald Trump and Brexit, and yet the glory days of dealing rooms the size of football pitches remain as distant as ever.
Scarred by the 2007-09 global financial crisis and a subsequent regulatory clampdown, cost-conscious banks aren’t taking on more traders, uncertain whether the revival will last.
“There’s no hiring spree,” Jason Kennedy, chief executive of recruitment firm Kennedy Group in London, told Reuters. “Management don’t know if the boom is real or not, if we’re in a bubble or not. The last thing they are doing is gear up, only to find there’s nothing behind it.”
Last year’s shocks of the British vote to leave the European Union and Trump’s U.S. presidential election victory fueled a surge in market volatility and banks’ trading activity, revenue and profit.
But that won’t mean more traders, with banks avoiding any return to dealing rooms staffed by hundreds like before the crisis, instead investing more in automated trading.