German commercial bank West LB is to close its trading operations in London as it transfers more of its business to Düsseldorf. The decision to cut costs has already led to two senior departures at the bank.Paul Bearman, head of rates trading, has left the bank and is understood to be heading to Calyon. Alan Attwood, regional head of asset and liability management, is also to take early retirement at the end of the month. Attwood, who will remain president of industry body ACI UK until the end of October, said the bank wants to migrate as much of its trading business as possible over to Düsseldorf in a bid to keep spending down.The decision to cut back on costs follows the lowering of West LB's credit rating after an EU ruling that stated landesbanks could no longer be backed by local governments. This made it more expensive for the bank to borrow money, according to Attwood. The latest changes at West LB follow the departure of the bank's forex head, Trevor Cowan, at the end of last year. His departure followed a series of restructurings at WestLB's currency business last year that saw it close its forex trading desk in New York.
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