Business Irish

Monday 19 February 2018

JP Morgan takeover of Bear Stearns cost 100 jobs, accounts reveal

Laura Noonan

JP MORGAN's high-stakes takeover of Bear Stearns cost close to 100 Dublin jobs as the collapsed investment bank drastically pared back its Irish operations.

Bear Stearns became the first Wall Street casualty of the credit crunch back in March 2008, but the impact on the bank's once-massive Dublin operation is revealed for the first time in accounts just filed.

In 2007, Bear Stearns's Dublin office notched up interest income close to $300m (€245m) and operating earnings of almost $49m, as 120 staff worked across the business's asset management and financial brokerage operations.

In 2009, the same company employed an average of just 23 people and posted interest income of less than $27m for the 13 months ended last December.

The lower figure came as the company closed its Paris branch and liquidated brokerage and asset management subsidiaries as part of its "integration" into JP Morgan.

That integration saw the Dublin business become an issuer of JP Morgan's Structure Products, while it also acquired "a portfolio of issued notes with their corresponding hedges and cash balances" from an affiliate company.

Going forward, the newly renamed JP Morgan Bank Dublin Plc will be "focused on traditional banking activities", its directors say in their report.

The switch in focus managed to stem bottom-line losses at the Irish business from €316m in the 2008 period to just under $14m last year. Noting the result, the directors said 2009 "continued to be a challenging period" for international financial markets.

Irish Independent

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