Goldman staff brace as jobs cull begins

STORY: Staff at Goldman Sachs are braced to find out if they still have a job.

The banking giant has begun a sweeping cost-cutting drive that could see its 49,000-strong workforce shrink in a big way.

A Reuters source says just over 3,000 people will be let go.

The cuts began in Asia on Wednesday (January 11).

Jobs went there in wealth management and private banking.

It wasn’t clear how much upheaval was coming at Goldman’s big hubs in London and New York.

The firm declined to comment on reports of job cuts.

But Argus Research director Stephen Biggar says banks have to bite the bullet after some tough quarters:

“So most of the banks have held on to folks for the better part of three quarters here during the downturn. And I think that really says also is that they don't expect the environment to improve very much in the coming quarters, or they wouldn't be, you know, jettisoning a staff at this point."

The Financial Times says redundancy plans will be followed by a broader spending review, covering everything from corporate travel to expenses.

Goldman is taking action after a massive slowdown in corporate dealmaking.

It’s also been hit by a slump in capital markets activity since the conflict began in Ukraine.

Among other measures, the lender is slashing its bonus payouts, with the total expected to drop by about 40%.