BOOST FOR CITY AS FIRMS HIRE AGAIN

MORE than 800 new staff are to be recruited by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as the professional services giant bounced back from recession with a revenue rise.

The firm will today announce that it has bounced back from the global financial crisis strongly as it releases its results for the year to the end of June.

The news will provide confirmation that London’s financial services industry is hiring again. Several large banks and many smaller firms have been recruiting in recent months, while there has been growth in compliance, regulatory and other posts. It also emerged yesterday that Santander is planning to add to its UK retail staff operations, with 6,000 new jobs to be created.

A recent survey by Morgan McKinley, the recruitment consultants, found that vacancies in London’s financial services industry rose from 3,528 in July 2009 to 6,048 last month, the most since August 2008. Others – including Robert Walters, Hays and Michael Page – have all reported buoyant growth in financial sector recruitment, including in audit, tax and back offices.

While the rest of the UK economy continues to struggle to add jobs, London is growing again, led by the much-maligned financial and business services industry.

PwC’s net underlying net revenue rose four per cent to £2.069bn, while turnover also grew by four per cent to £2.3bn – up from £2.2bn in the previous year However, average profit per partner was at £759,000 – a drop of two per cent from £777,000.

Chairman and senior partner Ian Powell will be paid £3.6m for the year, up from £3.3m in 2009. The total staff bonus pot rose 14 per cent to £81m.

Meanwhile, the company will employ 800 new staff over the next year, as well as the 1,200 graduate trainees already in line to join the business. The staff will work in offices across the globe with at least 400 set to be based in London.

Powell said: “If the UK economy were a patient I would describe it as stable but not out of the woods yet. It’s been a tough year for our clients and our business but we’ve delivered a good, solid set of results.

“We would urge the coalition to be careful on regulation as we want to recruit the best people. A lack of mergers and acquisitions has hit our tax business but we see that improving in the coming year. What happens in the US is extremely important.”

The results showed a 15 per cent increase in net revenues for PwC’s consulting business. PwC’s advisory services showed a turnover of £804m compared £737m in 2009. However, the tax practice saw a decline of two per cent to £634m.