No foreign graduates for Bank of America

Could this be the start of a trend?

Bank of America has withdrawn offers to foreign graduates of American business schools. According to the terms of the bank’s $45bn bailout, it is not allowed to recruit anyone requiring an immigrant work visa if it has already laid off American workers.

It’s tough luck on Alice Su from Hong Kong, who turned down other offers because she thought she was going to be working at BoA subsidiary Merrill Lynch, and Neha Khoda from India, who spent $140,000 getting a Wharton MBA. They are among many who thought a qualification from an American business school was the passport to a lucrative Wall Street career. It’s not going to help the business schools either as they rely heavily on their income from foreign students who might now be discouraged by the considerable costs of MBA courses.

That said, the restriction doesn’t apply to non-US banks operating on Wall Street. They might now find competition for bright graduates is less intense.

As far as I’m aware, bailout packages in the UK and elsewhere in the world have not come with similar strings attached. It’s probably only a matter of time before someone suggests it though.

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