RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Weekly Global News Wrap Up: Big banks beset by a US$340b bill for poor conduct; Bitcoin's unprecedented growth spur crypto-bubble fears

RBS to cut 880 IT jobs and Goldman Sachs to use personality tests in hiring.

From The Guardian: Fines, legal bills and the cost of compensating mistreated customers reached £264bn for 20 of the world’s biggest banks over the five years to 2016, according to new research that raises doubts about efforts by the major financial services players to restore trust in the sector. This figure is higher than in the previous five-year period – when the costs amounted to £252bn – and is up 32% on the period 2008-12, the first time the data was collated by the CCP Research Foundation, one of the few bodies that analyses the “conduct costs” of banks.

From Reuters: Bitcoin and other "cryptocurrencies" are big money, virtually as big as Goldman Sachs and Royal Bank of Scotland combined. The price of a single bitcoin hit an all-time high of above $3,500 this week, dragging up the value of hundreds of newer, smaller digital rivals in its wake. Now some investors fear a giant crypto-bubble may be about to burst.

From CNBC: The Royal Bank of Scotland plans to cut 880 jobs from its IT department in London by 2020, according to a U.K. labor union. Britain's Unite union claimed on Tuesday that the bank had informed staff of a further 40 percent cut of permanent IT staff, as well as a 65 percent reduction of contractors. RBS employed 2,200 IT workers in 2016, but in three years' time plans to reduce those numbers to 950, the union said.

From Reuters: Goldman Sachs Group Inc plans to begin using a "personality test" as part of the hiring process for positions in its banking, trading and finance and risk divisions, a senior Goldman executive said. The bank will begin piloting the test on U.S. summer intern candidates who would be starting in 2018, Matt Jahansouz, Goldman's global head of recruiting, said in an interview.

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