Saxo Bank today laid off 266 employees in a move that the company spokespeople said would allow the Copenhagen-based investment bank to remain flexible in the face of on-going global financial instability.
“The financial markets are currently at a standstill, and it’s only a matter of time before that starts to have an effect,” Ditte Buchwald, Saxo Bank’s head of human resources, said in a press release. “We have therefore decided to adapt to the situation, which sadly comes at a cost.”
Buchwald said the bank would do everything in its power to help support its former employees.
The cuts, equal to about 20 percent of the company's 1,400 employees, come despite Saxo Bank posting earnings of 190 million kroner before tax this year and a reported 21 percent increase in customer deposits.
Saxo Bank said that even with the job cuts it was planning on releasing new products in 2013 and that its international growth was also set to continue as planned.
Some 168 of those losing their jobs today worked in the company’s headquarters in Hellerup.
A Saxo Bank employee who wished to remain anonymous told The Copenhagen Post that the process took no longer than four hours.
“We got an email this morning at 8, asking us to gather for a meeting at 9:30am where we’d receive an important notice,” the employee said. “At that meeting we were told 168 of us would be laid off within the next few hours, which is exactly what happened. By noon, 168 had received their severance packages, and were walking out the door.”
Kasper Esbjørn, Saxo Bank’s spokesperson, confirmed that sequence of events.
“We didn’t want to drag it out,” Esbjørn said. “It’s a strategy we’d planned for ahead of time, and wanted it to be done as effectively as possible.”