Monday 19 October 2020 6:22 am

London financial services jobs rise after Covid-19 crash

The number of available jobs in London’s financial services sector jumped in the third quarter as confidence began to return to the capital.

Finance job vacancies rose 53 per cent in the three months to the end of September when compared to the previous quarter, according to recruitment agency Morgan McKinley. 

For London workers changing jobs, the average increase in salary was 17 per cent.

The jobs boost came after job vacancies plunged 60 per cent at the height of the coronavirus lockdown in the second quarter.

But while the figures will spark hopes of renewed confidence, job availability remains 54 per cent below the levels recorded this time last year. 

Hakan Enver, managing director of Morgan McKinley, hailed a quarter “full of renewed optimism and hope”.

“The good news is we’re seeing more companies finding a way of working through the pandemic and gaining an understanding of their recruitment needs. Banks are faring well and continue to hire. 

He added: “While vacancies are nowhere near the levels of a year ago, this is a positive sign that the financial services job market in London is headed in the right direction.”

But while job availability improved, the number of people looking for a new position also rose 38 per cent quarter on quarter. Compared to the third quarter last year, job seeker numbers are up four per cent.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics last week showed there were 227,000 redundancies across the UK in the three months to August — the highest level since the financial crisis in 2009 and roughly twice as many as the same time next year.

It comes as businesses brace for fresh coronavirus restrictions and the winding up of the furlough scheme, which is set to finish at the end of the month.

Bosses have urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to provide further financial support for businesses hit by the lockdown, warning that the UK is facing a fresh wave of “mass redundancies” without additional measures.

The UK’s hospitality sector is likely to be hardest hit by the new lockdown measures, with Pret a Manger and Wetherspoons among the major chains to announce further job cuts.

But financial services firms will also be facing uncertainty over the looming Brexit deadline, with calls for clarity over the free flow of capital and equivalence once the UK leaves the EU.

“Waiting until the end of the year will leave financial service companies facing a complex patchwork of national rules,” said Enver. 

“Yet, with all these uncertainties, whilst many firms have been preparing for the last two years, they are still unable to deal with Brexit until we know what the lay of the land is.”