(Bloomberg) -- UBS Group AG is laying off equity capital markets bankers because of a sharp decline in revenue after a slowdown in deal-making across the industry, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Swiss firm began laying off a handful of bankers in equity linked and capital markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa this month, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details aren’t public. Equity offerings across the region are on track to plunge about 70% this quarter and face an even steeper drop in the U.S.

Last year, investment banks fought to retain talent in mergers and capital markets in a hot market, with deal-making globally touching a $5 trillion record. While it’s not uncommon for banks to lay off some staff at this time of the year, the cuts may indicate the end of the war for talent. This year has seen activity drop off as companies and investors become more risk averse on concerns around the war in Ukraine and tightening monetary policy.

The Zurich-based bank has also been trimming investment banking jobs across emerging markets, including Dubai and Poland, as it seeks to cut costs, the people said. More bankers may be let go in coming weeks, the people said.

Investment banking revenue in Europe is set to slump more than 30% this quarter, with sentiment hit by the war and the start of rate increases, while firms also benefited from buoyant conditions in the same period last year. 

Debt capital markets and mergers and acquisitions are also set for steep revenue declines, the people said. Still, some executives at rival banks said they are monitoring the situation actively to decide if they need to cut staff and haven’t yet decided, some of the people said.

UBS also retreated from its investment banking operations in South Africa and in India, Bloomberg reported in December. The investment bank’s current retrenchment in the emerging markets comes as it continues to grow and invest in its wealth management business in these regions. 

UBS head of investment banking in the Middle East, Michael Cleanis, is set to join Abu Dhabi wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co., Bloomberg has reported. Cleanis has been with the bank in Dubai for the last 12 years. UBS has also scaled down its investment bank in South Africa, Bloomberg reported in December, while Pawel Dela, head of investment banking in Poland, joined Morgan Stanley late last year, according to his LinkedIn profile.

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