Finance firms set to recruit as slump ends

THE UK’s finance and accountancy sectors are once again recruiting much-needed talent as they shun recruitment freezes and pay cuts that marked 2009, according to a report by recruitment firm Badenoch & Clark.

According to the study, more than 20 per cent of the employers said they lacked the accounting and finance skills needed to reach their growth objectives because of last year’s tight recruitment trends. Almost half of all employers are expected to offer pay rises in 2010, the report adds.

A spokesperson for Royal Bank of Scotland said that the bank is looking to increase its graduate intake to pre-recession levels in 2010 up 100 per cent from last year. Jason Peters, a 2009 business graduate due to join a leading City Bank next month said: “Market activity is definitely picking up. Compared to last year, I saw more vacancies and received more calls from recruiters, and if companies want the best talent they will have to pay accordingly”.

Several others in the City are expected to follow suit. “We have an aggressive international expansion plan across all lines of business…overall the bank has more than doubled the size of its intern and graduate hiring programmes” says Elizabeth Wood, spokesperson for Bank of America, EMEA.

But Lynne Hardman, executive director at Badenoch & Clark warns that it should be remembered “that competition remains incredibly fierce… and employers are demanding their accountants deliver more than simple technical expertise”.