“Banking is at lowest confidence that we have ever seen and we have been doing recruitment from 1968,” group finance director Paul Venables told City A.M.
He warned that the group expected to see continued weakness in the sector over the next six months as financial institutions make further cuts to staff numbers and workers remain cautious about changing jobs in an uncertain economic environment.
His comments came as Hays, which places workers in accountancy, construction and IT jobs, reported a nine per cent fall in net fees in the UK and Ireland in the quarter to 30 September, led by declines in its banking, construction and property divisions.
Fees from its Asia Pacific region dropped nine per cent due to a slowdown in recruitment in the Australian resources market.
The firm reported a 16 per cent rise in net fee growth in its continental Europe and rest of world division, with fees in Germany up a record 25 per cent.
“The quarter has been better than feared when considering the bad economic backdrop. While a one per cent fall in total net fees is not something that is going to leave me cheering – it is a solid set of results result against a tough economy,” said Venables.
Shares closed up 5.7 per cent yesterday on the back of Hays’ robust European performance.