Pay in financial services to remain flat in 2018


The ongoing threat of cyber crime keeps digital security professionals in high demand (Source: Getty)

Salary growth in financial services will remain largely flat this year, according to a new report by recruitment firm Robert Walters.

However, cyber security and regulatory specialists are expected to command increases amid rising demand. 

The biggest banking salary increases are expected to be in product control at the vice president and assistant vice president levels.

The study found that regulatory specialists are sought after by banks and financial services firms due to ongoing legislative pressure.

Last year, tier one banks sought candidates with experience of the second Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid II), general data protection regulation (GDPR) and structural reform. Financial services firms were on the hunt for legal risk and compliance specialists due to pressure from regulators. Robert Walters is forecasting a salary rise of six per cent for risk specialists in the capital.

Read more: City firms on hiring spree

Bankers, traders and fund managers faced Mifid II, just after Christmas. It had been billed as the biggest regulatory shake-up in a generation, with the rules aiming to boost transparency and slash market misbehaviour.

Banks took a "relatively cautious" approach to hiring last year, focusing mainly on replacements, though demand for professionals is expected to continue in 2018 despite Brexit uncertainty.

Elsewhere, procurement professionals are expected to see the biggest salary rise (eight per cent) in London this year with employers seeking to develop new supply chains once Britain develops new trading relationships outside the European Union.

Chris Hickey, chief executive for the UK, Middle East and Africa at Robert Walters, said: "As demand outstrips supply for compliance, legal and risk professionals, employers will struggle to secure top talent."

“While it is clear that businesses will have to adapt to changing circumstances as Britain negotiates its exit from the EU, the prevailing attitude is one of measured optimism, with employers prepared to invest in securing top calibre professionals.”

Last year, a "two-speed economy" was noted, with salaries growing faster in the capital than the rest of the UK.

It comes after recruiter Hays reported last month that City firms look set to embark on a hiring spree this year, with more than two-thirds of financial services firms planning to bolster their ranks over the next year.

High demand for staff has driven double-digit salary growth for new hires in the capital.

Read more: Job movers seeing steep rises in salaries says recruiters