City jobs at highest level since 2007 ...

THE number of job vacancies in banking and financial services has reached levels not seen since before the credit crunch, a forecast by a City recruitment consultancy claimed yesterday.

Recruitment firm Ambition said job vacancies in the City were now up 260 per cent on the first quarter of 2009, which was at the height of the economic downturn.

While there had been a slight decrease in the number of vacancies between the second and third quarter of this year, overall the number of roles available remained higher than at any point since 2007, according to the report.

The growth in job vacancies had been driven by increased business activity in the fixed
income and foreign exchange markets, said Ambition.

Expansion in the interest rates, structured rates and structured credit markets during 2010 had also led many City institutions to add to their workforce, the report found.

Candidates with interest rate, credit default swap and collateralised debt obligation
product experience in areas such as project management, performance analysis, back office, risk and compliance, finance departments and marketing teams were in particular demand, Ambition added.

Tim Gilbert, UK managing director of Ambition, said: “We predicted in early 2010 that there would be rapid growth in the City and this forecast has played out. Significant increases in demand for staff off the back of the equities markets helped fuel the early growth. But increased activity in the fixed income market has boosted many companies’ appetite to hire in recent months.”

But the City is currently suffering a skills shortage, warned the recruitment company, with more vacancies than skilled candidates available to fill them.

There are currently 11 vacancies for every 10 candidates actively searching for work in the City, said Gilbert, a ratio which had risen sharply from the three vacancies per 10 candidates in the first quarter of 2009.

Gilbert added candidates were more confident about their prospects than at any time in the last three years.