Why Are Trading Desks Being Trimmed?

Banks have begun trimming mortgage-trading staff as securities trading declines, and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) are leading the cuts.

Raphael Gonzalez, JPMorgan’s co-head of trading in subprime mortgages, and John Angelica, a securitized-products salesman, have left the bank, along with Roy Kim, who traded adjustable-rate mortgages, according to a Bloomberg report. An additional 5 percent of the New York bank’s equities trading and sales staff, and 100 employees from the treasury and securities services division, have also been asked to leave over the last three months.

The three top executives reportedly received severance packages, including deferred stock awards that may otherwise have been forfeited.

John McNiff, the Bank of America co-head of commercial mortgage securities trading, has also resigned, the report added, and half a dozen traders and salesmen have been asked to leave. Other senior mortgage sales and asset trading executives are either resigning or being asked to do so.

“When you start doing something like this, you’re making a forward statement about the mortgage-backed security market — they are saying it isn’t going to be as active,” Brad Hintz, a bank told Bloomberg.

Securities trading at the 10 biggest global investment banks dropped from $17.5 billion in 2010 to $10 billion last year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aabha Rathee at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com