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KPMG to cut further 200 UK jobs amid market slowdown

KPMG to cut further 200 UK jobs amid market slowdown

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KPMG is cutting a further 200 jobs in the UK as the Big Four firm faces a prolonged slowdown in demand for some services and a drop in the number of staff quitting.

The accounting and consulting business told staff on Thursday that it would axe about 200 back-office and client-facing roles following a review of its cost base, according to people familiar with the matter.

As part of the restructuring, KPMG will merge certain back-office functions and “reduce duplication” in parts of its client-facing operations, the people said. The firm declined to comment on which client-facing business lines would be affected.

It comes as KPMG and its Big Four rivals — Deloitte, EY and PwC — struggle with a market slowdown after a boom during and after the pandemic. PwC launched a “significant” round of “silent lay-offs” in recent weeks, the FT has previously reported.

The latest cuts at KPMG come after the firm axed more than 200 roles at the end of last year and also froze pay for about 12,000 staff. It employs more than 17,000 in the UK.

“We anticipate the market remaining volatile in the short to medium term,” said one person briefed on the latest redundancy programme. “Our rate of firmwide attrition is low. This has been the case for the last year.”

The consultation process on the proposed redundancies would be completed by October 1, the person added.

Source Global Research has forecast that Britain’s consulting market will struggle to grow this year as businesses spend less on corporate advice. A separate survey from the Management Consultancies Association estimated that market activity will grow but more slowly than last year.

KPMG reported revenues of £2.96bn for the year to September 2023. Its partners were paid an average of £746,000 last year.

“Like the rest of our sector, we are still operating in challenging market conditions, which is why we have made the difficult decision to consult on proposals to reduce our cost base,” KPMG said.

KPMG is retrenching as it prepares to merge its UK and Swiss businesses to reduce silos and provide a better service to large international clients across borders.

The tie-up, which comes into effect in October, marks the biggest strategic change at the firm since UK chief executive Jon Holt took over in 2021.

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