Foreigners First on Chopping Block as Middle East Cuts Bankers Jobs

Oil prices plunging below the $30 a barrel mark has sent many oil companies reeling, as well the banking industry, which is critically supported with oil money.

According to financial recruiters and Bloomberg analysts, over 1,500 banking jobs have already been cut, with more layoffs on the horizon. Many of these firings have happened at international giants such as Standard Chartered Plc and HSBC Holdings Plc, which have traditionally been seen as great homes away from home for experienced expatriate bankers. Some of these big banks have openly stated that expats will bear the brunt of the necessary cut backs.

“Low oil prices have run through all industries in the region and hit the financial sector hard,” Trefor Murphy, managing director of recruiter Morgan McKinley in the Middle East and North Africa, said Wednesday. “It’s now an extremely challenged market. You’ll see an exodus of bankers.”