Applications up for City jobs

CITY firms are struggling to hang on to staff despite plans to increase salaries and bonuses by more than inflation, according to two surveys by recruitment firms.

Financial recruiter Robert Half says that a survey of 280 chief financial officers (CFOs), shows 61 per cent of listed firms are planning to put up salaries in coming months, more than two thirds of them by five to six per cent and a fifth by seven to 10 per cent.

The research also shows that increases in bonuses will just about match inflation, with a third of CFOs planning to put them up by three to four per cent, and half planning to raise them by five to six per cent.

Numbers from rival City recruiter Astbury Marsden show why: it says the number of applications it received in February has soared to 7,400, a 47 per cent jump year-on-year as disgruntled employees consider options and prepare to ditch their current employer.

The data shows that non-top tier investment bankers, in particular, are upset about their pay levels.

Astbury Marsden chief operating officer Mark Cameron: says “Dissatisfaction about pay is inevitable among such a hyper-competitive cohort as investment bankers – they see bonuses as the way to keep score and they hate to lose.”

He added that some investment banks are reporting staff turnover for the first quarter of 20 per cent – way above the usual churn that follows bonus season.

The rise in applications has not quite been matched by an equivalent jump in vacancies, but there were nonetheless 30 per cent more jobs added to the recruiter’s register this February than last.