Bank withdrawing signed/accepted offer?

EDIT: I just had a call from the head of HR who said nothing could be done. They could offer me nothing. When I told them about the bad PR, that it meant applicants could never trust a signed contract with JPM she merely repeated that they could do nothing.

Long time lurker here doing my first post.

I just had a call with JPM that I signed a contract with back in December for a position in London. They basically withdrew my offer on the phone and said that they had hired more candidates than they needed and, based on the feedback from my AC, they had chosen to withdraw my offer. Despite telling them that I rejected other offers to work for them, they said they could do nothing. No postponing it for a year or assigning me to another office.

Has anyone tried this before? Anyone know what I can do about it?

Comments (61)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 3, 2022 - 11:39am

Just drop the name of the said BB already

Most Helpful
Feb 3, 2022 - 11:48am
Hölder, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is the nightmare scenario that many of us fear. Because of this, in my last recruiting cycle I had at one point simultaneously accepted 3 offers and then just emailed the other 2 companies like 2 days before starting that I would be voluntarily pulling myself out of the process.

So first I would suggest that the next time you do the same. Accept every offer you get and then just politely tell them to fuck off once you actually started in the preferred job.

As for now, there are cases in which you can sue for damages. The fact that you lost other offers because they gave you a fake offer can count as a real harm they caused to you. However this is why HR crafts their offer letters very particularly. If you know a lawyer have them take a look to see if they missed anything and you can sue. Beyond that you can also go the PR route. Many people will feel a lot of sympathy for someone in your situation. If you can create enough traction you could cause serious PR damage to them but of course this will depend on luck and connections.

I'm very sorry this happened to you.

Feb 3, 2022 - 1:17pm
Mr_Pale, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you so much. Though, I think I would burn my bridges if I start anything PR related. Who would want to hire me if I caused a PR storm at another bank? No one.

Feb 6, 2022 - 1:52am
Hölder, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think of it in terms of 'target' and 'safety'. If my target has not extended an offer I will say yes to any other safety offers received. Back when I was interviewing my goal was to get the fuck out of my current job so I said yes to anything offering a similar comp. But I was clear what my true target was.

Beyond that, I think about it like this: Unless you are competing for a position like VP or above where you may be being scouted by actual C-suite, then you should not care. If the person hiring is some retard VP or Director then don't worry about burning bridges with them. They are literal nobodies and if you ever are in the position to need to apply to the same company odds are that person already left, or the person hiring this time is another VP who hates the other guy so they'll think you were smart not to work with a retard. Seriously.

Always think of how many VPs there are in every single company. Now multiply that by the thousands of companies out there. They are literal nobodies.

Feb 5, 2022 - 3:31pm
traderguy123, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Could I please have a personal chat with you via DM. I recently accepted 2 offers from A and B. B knows I told them I'd renege on A if they gave me an offer and that's what I planned on doing. A's head of trading is now threatening to call all his friends and tell them not to hire me. Is that a scare tactic on his part? Would someone really do this to a lowly analyst trying to get their foot in the door?

Feb 6, 2022 - 1:57am
Hölder, what's your opinion? Comment below:

That is a weird situation. Small shops may take it a bit more personal. My experience has been mostly with big corporations with giant HR departments that likely have another dozen candidates to replace me.

If I was you this is what I'd do: Write an email to them saying that you are truly sorry that you cannot join their team as you would have loved working with them but you can't refuse a better offer in terms of comp.

That's it. If the guy actually chooses to be an asshole and publicly air dirty laundry you have the nicest email in the world to back you up. And trust me, anyone in finance will understand. Money talks in this industry and if they can't match an offer then chimping out will only make them look weak. I 100% bet it is a scare tactic but still always play it nice to make yourself look good. I also doubt the guy has any power in the industry if he has to beg for an analyst.

Always choose the place with a better offer. If another company wanted you they would give you a better offer. Simple as.

Feb 3, 2022 - 12:03pm
MCSquared, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Which BB was it and did you do a summer there? Really hoping it works out you and that my anxiety doesnt drive me crazy

Feb 3, 2022 - 12:33pm
lloyd_dankwine, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Sorry to hear that they shafted you but never ever heard of this before and you're not telling us the name of the firm? Why would you have any loyalty to the firm. Tell us who it was or ur clearly trolling. 

Feb 3, 2022 - 1:15pm
Mr_Pale, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Obviously, I'm not going to give you the name - I don't want to burn my bridges. Besides, it's a small industry and it would remove any kind of anonymity if I named the bank.

Feb 3, 2022 - 4:03pm
Maximilianunger, what's your opinion? Comment below:

lloyd_dankwine

Sorry to hear that they shafted you but never ever heard of this before and you're not telling us the name of the firm? Why would you have any loyalty to the firm. Tell us who it was or ur clearly trolling. 

It was JPM IBD London office

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Feb 3, 2022 - 1:18pm

not taking the mick at all but the question of what you can do is confusing me a bit. Why would you want to force them into giving you a job after messing you around like this?

Feb 3, 2022 - 1:20pm
Mr_Pale, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It's a job in investment banking at a BB - it's much better than unemployment. Besides, I rejected my other offers when this BB gave me an exploding offer. Being a penultimate student this year, I cannot apply for internships next year and the chances of getting a FT offer without having an internship is slim.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Feb 3, 2022 - 1:24pm

the broader point was why would you want to work somewhere that has no problems treating you like dirt from day 0. I'm aware that this is the industry a lot of us have chosen but seems like a terrible way to start off your thoughts towards a firm, no?

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Feb 3, 2022 - 1:41pm

If you're in London, you can apply to internships in your final if you say you will do a master's. Additionally, most firms don't even care about the penultimate stuff. Shitty situation to be in, but keep your chin high as you did the hard part which is getting in.

Feb 3, 2022 - 1:44pm
Mr_Pale, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Try reading the things I wrote again. I'm sure you'll understand it if you try hard enough. Also, empathy. Google it.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Feb 3, 2022 - 2:47pm

Strange..

1. Interns aren't a very expensive cost to the bank. Don't see why they feel the need to save GBP10k+ on 1 summer intern when they're bumping base salaries and splashing out on bonuses. Majority of other onboarding and less tangible costs are already fixed despite the class size

2. Banks mainly see internships as a feeder for the grad role and not much of anything else. A couple of extra interns are just extra hands to fix slides and more importantly, a larger talent pool for conversion decisions. 

3. Using 'hired more candidates than they needed' as a reason to withdraw an offer is pretty foolish of them. They could've easily picked out some inconsistencies/exaggerations in your CV during background checks to have more legal grounds to withdraw your offer, leaving less of their asses exposed to legal recourse from your side.

Assuming you're not trolling, my view is that either you've screwed something up real bad during the recruitment process that was overlooked, or someone junior in HR is making shitty decisions.

Feb 5, 2022 - 12:47am
TheBuellerBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

To your first point, banks still keep tight budgets and are held to not going over. With comp increases and the recent market volatility, it's possible the firm was cutting wherever they could and grasping at straws to fall within a revised budget. That being said, I also agree that interns are an awful place to do something like this given how bad the PR is. But on the other hand, it's not like people still won't want to join the firm. Overall fucked up and weird situation. Feel terrible for the OP and they truly shafted him/her.

  • 4
  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Feb 3, 2022 - 2:50pm

Just drop the name, you have nothing to lose mate. Let us know so we can avoid them in future.

Feb 4, 2022 - 9:23am
Toll Ride, what's your opinion? Comment below:

No, other people's. I posted this before he started posting.

Feb 3, 2022 - 4:34pm
doobry666, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I see that DB added a new move to its playbook.

"If it is on WSO, it must be true" ~ old Jewish proverb.

  • 5
  • 1
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Feb 4, 2022 - 6:08am

Can confirm that this is JPM London office - would personally try and speak to any contracts you have at JPM/interviewers and efinancialcareers. 

Feb 4, 2022 - 7:40am
Mr_Pale, what's your opinion? Comment below:

To be honest, the worst part is that they did it so late - the recruitment season is over. I have to pay rent and everything in London without having an internship to cover my expenses. I will literally have to take out a loan to cover my expenses. And, of course, I cannot convert an internship to FT, if I don't have an internship.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Feb 4, 2022 - 7:59am

man i feel so bad for you. this is such an unfortunate and unprofessional situation. firms just can pull this sort of crap and get away with it, and yet react so terribly if candidates were to renege. 

Feb 4, 2022 - 9:18am
Lollof17, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This sounds like a terrible scenario, hope it works out for you.

Could you possibly reach out to the other banks you've declined and tell them you've thought about their offers again and changed your decision for XYZ (valid and thought-out) reasons? Chances are they've already filled all positions, but you never know. They might offer you a spot at a less competitive division of the bank or perhaps a spot for next year's summer/OC internships or at least fast track you to an AC for 2023 SA. You practically have nothing to lose and an SA internship to gain with just a couple of emails. Worth a shot.

  • 3
  • Analyst 1 in Acct - Audit
Feb 4, 2022 - 5:45pm

I almost killed myself when something similar happened to me at a consulting firm in London in 2018 and I just now made it back to banking so i feel really sensitive to this issue.

i have heard older and more experienced professionals say that you shouldn't be loyal to any bank and I guess this is what they were talking about. I don't understand why they are being so cruel about it as well. Couldn't they reshuffle the interns to other departments to at least give them a chance or at least compensate the ones that were let go financially with the full package they were offered, JP Morgan can afford it and it would at least help with students who made plans with the money.

Might sound like I am lying but if I was an MD I would take a pay cut to ensure there is some form of compensation.

Feb 5, 2022 - 6:56am
Mr_Pale, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm really sorry that something similar happened to you and it's good to hear that you've made it back. You're right about loyalty - moves like this effectively forces people to accept several of their offers and then renege when they start just to avoid being in this situation. And yes - I fell like they could have done a lot of things to compensate for this. But they simply chose not to...

Feb 5, 2022 - 3:43pm
Risk Weighted Ass, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Just start applying and networking dude. Making a post to feel bad for yourself is fine, but now you need to focus all of your time applying and networking. I got a summer BB internship in HK, where I interviewed in Feb and March, and got my offer in April. Then started in May. It's possible, focus on HK where recruitment is later or small companies in the US that may be flexible. Go on job boards and apply to every company still looking for interns. Get to work, and good luck.

Feb 5, 2022 - 12:54am
TheBuellerBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

While I think loyalty has it's place when you're situated at a firm, shit like this makes me totally resent that sentiment. Even though this is the first time I've heard of a firm pulling an SA offer out of the blue for reasons unrelated to behavior/lying on applications etc, the damage has been done and a precedent has been set. I really highly doubt that this will ever be a common practice given how much worse it is for the firm as a look as opposed to cutting the de minimus cost of employing one incremental intern, but it's certainly scary that it happened at all. If stuff like this happens again, wouldn't be surprised if there is a more cavalier attitude towards reneging and fluidity in shopping offers as a summer. Just awful behavior on the firm's part if this is true and likely yet another terrible call thanks to someone in HR given no one on the banking teams ever think of the interns after hiring them until they start.

  • 7
Feb 5, 2022 - 6:52am
Mr_Pale, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I agree with this comment and your other one. I mean, I get that having to bump up the pays for everyone can be very expensive, but a few interns should make little difference. We are literally the cheapest labour available, as we are paid below base and do not receive a bonus. Also, this creates such a bad image, uncertainty and removes whatever loyalty people might have that it is hardly worth the money they save.

Feb 5, 2022 - 6:11pm
TitanBrit, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Let's assume the story is real. Let's assume is JPM. They have hundreds of interns both summer and off-cycle. Withdrawing offers is bad PR and makes zero financial / common sense as large firms are very sensitive to PR issues (also never heard of in 10y experience).

Speak to HR (level above the one you are talking to) and email the team directly (MD only). They can switch you to the next intake.

There's no bridges to protect. Every bank on the street would understand the horrible position you are in. Talk to efinancialcareers to have an article about it which includes firm's name and team. Good luck.

Feb 6, 2022 - 5:22am
Mr_Pale, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you for the advice. HR is not very good at replying. I asked for the contact details of my interviewers but HR never relied to that email. The last thing I got, when I started pushing, was that they would get back to me next week. How would I go about getting the details of HR (at the level above them) or the relevant MD's, when HR does not want to give me that information?

Feb 6, 2022 - 5:52am
TitanBrit, what's your opinion? Comment below:

"Thank you for the advice. HR is not very good at replying. I asked for the contact details of my interviewers but HR never relied to that email. The last thing I got, when I started pushing, was that they would get back to me next week. How would I go about getting the details of HR (at the level above them) or the relevant MD's, when HR does not want to give me that information?"

So you got your answer: wait for next week. If you know which team you were supposed to go I bet you know some of the analysts to give you the name of the team head?

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Feb 6, 2022 - 10:17am

Can't add much but witnessing how difficult and competitive London IBD recruiting is, the fact that you managed to secure multiple offers including one at a top BB shows that you'll surely land on your feet, if not this year then next year for sure. Good luck

Feb 6, 2022 - 11:08am
joris_bohnson, what's your opinion? Comment below:

fuck them

could pursue civil litigation (via equity measures such as promissory estoppel), however idk about how much monetary damages you can recover

Feb 6, 2022 - 12:51pm
Pan European Monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

OP, if you are serious about this - PM me, I am sure that I can recommend you to few firms that would be happy to have a summer intern should you be able to prove what you are saying. Large firms have 0 reason to fucking screw college kids over 10k because they don't know how to fucking count after increasing base across the board by 15-20k p.a.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Feb 12, 2022 - 9:20pm

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Feb 28, 2022 - 11:37am
@cquisitiong, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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