Credit Suisse and Silicon Valley Bank’s failures have flooded the City with idled bankers looking for new work, a new report out today reveals.
Over 4,000 more workers in the UK’s financial services sector were looking for a new gig in the first three months of this year, according to recruiter Morgan McKinley.
Available financial services candidates climbed to 24,959 in the first quarter of this year, up from 20,824 in the previous three months.
The upsurge was “no surprise given the recent setbacks in the financial sector with news of redundancies [and] the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and demise of Credit Suisse,” Hakan Enver, managing director at Morgan McKinley UK, said.
The news comes as Credit Suisse yesterday posted what could be its last ever set of results as a standalone entity after it was pawned off to UBS by Swiss authorities last month.
The 167-year old once financial behemoth suffered £55bn of capital flight in the months running up to its failure, a run which was sparked by customers fretting over the health of the global financial system after SVB’s collapse and eventually tipped it over the edge.
Its possible last crop of financials were nothing to shout home about. When stripping out the chunk of bonds it wrote off to push through the UBS sale, Credit Suisse notched a loss of £1.2bn in the first quarter.
Fates of the more than 5,000 London-based Credit Suisse staff, mainly at its Canary Wharf UK base, are still unclear and it is not known how many or whether any of their UK staff have been cut loose.
There were fears for SVB UK’s staff before HSBC snapped it up for £1.
There are signs that the Square Mile’s banks, brokers and insurers are dipping their toes back in the recruitment market.
Morgan McKinley said the number of vacancies climbed three per cent over the last quarter to 7,497 from 7,245.
Britain’s economy so far in 2023 has performed much better than experts forecasts at the turn of the year. The Bank of England and Office for Budget Responsibility have both canned their recession forecasts.
Consumer and business spending has held up reasonably well, aided by families having a big bucket of savings built up during the pandemic to draw on.
Enver added strengthening optimism in the UK economy could have lured financial services companies back to the jobs market.
“The economy may have turned a corner,” he said.
However, the number of jobs in the City has actually tumbled 31 per cent on an annual basis, down from just over 11,000 in the first three months of 2022. Vacancies are also far below their pre-Brexit levels.
There could be a path to Brussels and London reaching an agreement on recognising each others’ financial services regime, which would lower barriers to doing business between European and UK banks.
“The UK is pushing to work with the EU on financial services regulation now that an agreement on post-Brexit trade with Northern Ireland has been reached, demonstrating the nation’s openness to business,” Enver said.
Job switchers in the Square Mile trousered an 18 per cent rise, Morgan McKinley said, but added this was the smallest average increase in two years.
City job switchers’ pay increases were also more than ten percentage points higher than the UK average when using Office for National Statistics’s data.
City A.M. has contacted Credit Suisse and UBS for comment.
SVB UK told City A.M.: “We are continuing to build our team and hiring for 50 new open vacancies with no planned redundancies at SVB UK.”
“We are seeing record levels of applicants across our roles with applicant numbers increasing per vacancy following the acquisition by HSBC.”