BBVA cuts US investment jobs as revenue declines

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 January, 2013, 5:12am

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), Spain's second-biggest bank, said it has eliminated 24 banking jobs from its New York office and has offered to transfer 40 others to Houston.

BBVA is cutting its investment banking workforce in New York, a spokeswoman for the bank said.

The bankers let go included members of its mergers and acquisitions team, said four other people, who asked not to be named.

BBVA joins banks around the world that are reducing their workforce.

Nine major global banks - Deutsche Bank, Barclays, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, UBS, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley - announced more than 30,000 job cuts in the first nine months of last year, Bloomberg data shows.

The Spanish bank's credit rating was downgraded three times last year by Standard & Poor's, from A-plus to BBB-minus, one step above junk, causing the bank to lose business, two of the sources said.

Activity at BBVA's corporate and investment banking division has been declining as lending fell 13 per cent in the first nine months of last year from the same period in 2011 and customer funds dropped 26 per cent. Revenue for the unit from the US fell 10 per cent in the period, the lender said.

BBVA, which is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings on February 1, has also seen a decline in earnings as it increases bad-loan charges to comply with government orders to Spanish banks to recognise real estate losses that piled up on their balance sheets after the property market crashed.

In December 2011, BBVA announced 150 job cuts at its wholesale banking division as it trimmed staffing in line with reduced business levels.