LONDON Jan 13 The number of new financial
services jobs in London rose for the first time in almost two
years last month, research showed on Monday, which recruiters
said was a sign that banks are starting to think about growth
after years of restructuring.
However, the number of jobs created in the whole of 2013
fell 21 percent compared with the year before as the financial
jobs market still struggles to recover from the effects of the
financial crisis, after which a number of banks cut jobs or
pulled back from certain activities to reduce costs.
In December, 1,340 new jobs were created in the City
financial district, up by two thirds versus the same month in
2012, according to research by recruitment firm Astbury Marsden.
It was the first time in 22 months there had been a year-on-year
monthly increase, the study said.
Investment banks created 67 percent more jobs than in
Astbury Marsden said steady trading volumes encouraged City
firms to continue to support growth in equity and derivatives
trading and a buoyant shares listings market encouraged banks to
devote more resources to deal-making and execution teams.
The total number of roles created in 2013 fell to 27,915
from 35,115 created in 2012, the research showed.
Astbury Marsden said there were some positives to be taken
from the fact that the rate of shrinkage had slowed, however, as
total new roles in 2012 had been 35 percent behind 2011.
"What we are seeing is very far from a return to aggressive
hiring, but it is a good sign that banks are thinking again
about growth," Astbury Marsden's Chief Operating Officer Mark
Separate research released last week suggested financial
services institutions are finding it increasingly difficult to
find the right staff to fill roles and to keep top talent on
In a survey conducted as part of recruitment firm Robert
Half's Salary Guide for 2014, almost all of the 100 executives
asked said it was a challenge to find skilled financial services
professionals and 95 percent said they were concerned about
losing top performers.
A similar number said they were worried about losing top
talent to international competitors as a result of the European
Union bonus cap, which limits bonuses to no more than annual
salary, or twice that with shareholder approval.
Bonuses and executive compensation are particularly thorny
issues in Britain, where many believe high levels of pay
encouraged the excessive risk taking that led to the financial
People struggling in the economic downturn have been
infuriated by companies, particularly banks rescued by the
government at the height of the crisis, which continue to award
payouts many times the average wage.
Robert Half said almost two thirds of firms surveyed had
already raised salaries by an average of 19 percent for top
employees to counteract the crimp on bonuses, while six in 10
have also increased benefits for affected staff.
In November Barclays unveiled a plan to give senior
bankers additional monthly payments and last week an industry
source said HSBC is considering handing out new share
awards to around 1,000 top-ranking staff.
Many U.S. and European banks still have a long way to go to
ensure their bonus awards for London-based bankers comply with
the cap. Some bonuses awarded for 2012 performance were 5.4
times salary, according to data disclosed by the banks and