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Rates traders are back in vogue.

Nomura hired one of HSBC's veteran rates traders

When HSBC announced its cost-cutting intentions in February 2020, it was rates traders who were first to feel the axe: within days, members of HSBC's London rates desk claimed they were getting "smashed."

Seven months on, and rates desks have done well during the pandemic, prompting hiring at the likes of JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank in London. Nomura too appears to be stocking up: it has recruited Brett Hipkiss, a rates trader who spent 13 years at HSBC after joining in 2007.

Hipkiss' LinkedIn profile suggests he joined Nomura's London office this month. His route to HSBC appears to have been an unusual one: after completing a degree in mathematical economics at the University of Birmingham, Hipkiss apparently began trading FX on his own account and got a job at HSBC after doubling his money.

Nomura made its own cuts to its rates business in 2019, despite hiring a rates team from NatWest a year earlier. Hipkiss' arrival suggests banks are selectively restocking with rates talent after a strong year.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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