City jobs rise 9% in April
The City jobs market showed signs of improvement in April as investment banks, buoyed by better results, stepped up recruitment, says Astbury Marsden, a leading financial services recruitment firm.
According to Astbury Marsden, there were approximately 3,455 City job vacancies created in April 2012, a 9% rise on the 3,180 created in March 2012.
Mark Cameron, Chief Operating Officer at Astbury Marsden says: “The biggest investment banks have been net shedders of jobs for the last year – this is the first time since then that they have been doing any significant hiring.”
“But one swallow doesn’t make a spring –few are expecting a sudden return to banks outbidding each other for staff across the board.”
“Banks are still being very cautious and limiting new job creation to hiring for those areas that are already profitable rather than hiring in anticipation of the market turning the corner.”
Mark Cameron says that one of the few emerging hot areas of City recruitment is within Fixed Income units where turnover has been driven by liquidity provided by the European Central Bank and the Bank of England.
Says Mark Cameron: “Profits within this area of investment banking have grown strongly and investment banks are keen to hire to make sure they get their share of this pie. It is one of the few areas of investment banking where staff budgets seem to have been ring-fenced from the cost cutters.”
Mark Cameron says that some banks are also hoping that their Interest Rate Swaps desk will continue to benefit from speculation about the economic recovery, with businesses considering whether to fix their borrowing rates at what are historically very low levels.
Regulatory steamroller continues to create jobs in its wake
Astbury Marsden says that the sea of regulatory changes facing investment banks is continuing to act as a key component of demand in the City jobs market.
Explains Mark Cameron: “Whilst Basel III and the Vickers Report mean quite profound changes in the way investment banks work there are also plenty of other regulatory initiatives ranging from the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and the shift to centralised clearing for OTC derivatives. They all come with huge administrative burdens for compliance experts and IT teams to grapple with.”
Candidate numbers continue to weaken
Astbury Marsden estimates that there are now over 1.8 qualified candidates for every available City job, down from 2.3 last month.
Astbury Marsden says that the new restraint being shown by banks on pay means that some recruits are switching jobs for very small salary increase.
Adds Mark Cameron: “You need to be fairly motivated to move for almost no salary increase at all. So a lot of bankers who want to move are sitting on their hands rather than actively looking for jobs. If hirers do start to get a little more generous then we should start to see more active job-hunting.”
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