Wall Street interns 'still plan to work in banking'

31 July 2008

This year's crop of summer interns at Wall Street banks still intend, in the main, to work in the sector in the future.

An investigation by CNBC shows that, despite mass layoffs and general credit crunch-induced malaise at the financial firms, many youngsters gaining work experience remain upbeat about the sector's prospects.

One firm, Citigroup, has written off over $40 billion in assets and plans radical downsizing thanks to the crunch.

Another, Bear Stearns, almost collapsed in March and had to be rescued by the government after its stock plunged in value.

Commenting, John Challenger at counselling service Challenger, Gray & Christmas suggested that interns were being well-treated by the firms.

"No company can afford to cut its internship program…you'd really have to be desperate because [they] are the future," he said.

"They need young talent that has come to know the company…you can't just think about 2008."

CNBC spoke to several anonymous interns over the course of its research - and found that several had learned some valuable truths about the banking industry.

"You have absolutely no job security," one said.

"That’s why they pay you so much."

Around 60,000 jobs have been lost on Wall Street since the beginning of the credit crunch last summer, figures cited by news agency Reuters show.

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