City vacancies jump 67pc but financial transaction tax trauma looms

Harriet Green
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Vacancies in London’s financial services companies leapt 67 per cent last month, as employers looked for workers to manage increasing compliance demands from regulators, according to recruitment consultancy Morgan McKinley.

8,955 jobs were advertised in the City and across the capital. In April 2013, the figures stood at 5,355.

41 per cent more people are looking for jobs in the City compared to last year, and average salaries for new hires jumped 21 per cent last month, the firm found.

Despite a slight dip in hiring because of Easter, increasing global regulation over the manipulation of benchmark interest rates, alleged currency market rigging and money laundering has ensured compliance departments keep growing.

“Organizations are seeking risk and compliance specialists, with an increase in funds compliance advisory roles and distribution-compliance roles within the last month,” Hakan Enver, operations director at Morgan McKinley Financial Services, said. According to Enver, hiring has been “at the senior end of the spectrum”.

Barclays unnerves City

Last week, Barclays announced it’s slashing 14,000 jobs this year, as it trims its under performing investment banking arm. Given moves like this, Morgan Mckinley says there’s likely to be “a degree of unease” in the financial services sector over the coming months.

The impact is likely to be felt within fixed income, in particular regarding the bonds market, with less recruitment anticipated in this asset class as a result.

That said, asset management, wealth and retail arms continue to do well, with job flow improving nicely, according to the jobs specialist.

With 3.1 per cent growth increase reported by the Office for National Statistics for the first quarter, and research from Nielsen showing jobs confidence is at a six-and-a-half-year high, Morgan Mckinley predicts “the upward trend in City jobs growth will continue”.

The financial transaction tax hits

The firm has also issued something of a warning when it comes the EU’s financial transaction tax (FTT) and how it'll affect the City:

One possible dark cloud on the horizon could be the introduction of the FTT.

… Its adoption by other EU member states from the beginning of 2016 could damage the green shoots of recovery and have a negative effect on City jobs.

Chancellor George Osborne has been backed by several European countries when it comes to opposing the tax, which Britain doesn’t plan to adopt. 10 countries, however, have committed to imposing it by 2016.

Two years behind schedule, the tax would cost UK households €4.4bn (£3.6bn) and see government borrowing costs jump by nearly £4bn, according to a February report by the City of London Corporation.

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