Regional growth behind rise in finance jobs

The demand for professionals to work in the UK’s financial services sector has increased by three per cent during 2019 despite the uncertainties surrounding Brexit, according to a new survey.

Compiled by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) and business intelligence specialist Vacancysoft, the data showed that while London remains by far the largest hub for hiring financial services talent, it was in the regions that this year's big rise in hiring occurred. 
Recruitment activity in the capital actually decreased by four per cent this year compared to 2018. But the North East of England recorded a year-on-year increase in vacancies of 32 per cent, while Yorkshire and the Humber notched up a rise of 31 per cent.The report said the regional surge was probably due to an increasing number of financial firms ‘north-shoring’ - the trend among London companies to move operations to northern cities to reduce costs.
Ann Swain, chief executive of APSCo, said: “Despite widespread concerns that Brexit would result in a crash in hiring, the sector has shown some signs of resilience, with vacancies outside of London, in particular, increasing as firms relocate or expand outside of the capital to take advantage of lower overheads and rich talent pools.
"Recent data released by recruitment software company, Broadbean, revealed that the average salary for financial professionals increased in 2019, reflecting how resilient the market is.”
The report showed that consumer finance organisations were behind much of the jobs growth in the sector, with vacancies up by 36 per cent. Commercial banking continued to provide the lion’s share of professional opportunities, despite vacancies within these firms falling by two per cent year-on-year.
HSBC was the top company for hiring across the sector but Lloyds Banking Group recorded the largest annual increase, with the number of vacancies increasing by 87 per cent.
James Chaplin, CEO of Vacancysoft, commented: “Technological advancements have undoubtedly impacted the financial services sector and we can certainly see this evolution within consumer finance, with big tech firms, like Google, Facebook, Apple, Uber and Amazon, offering services like payments, checking, savings and investment services. “We have also seen consumer lending increase. In September this year, it grew by eight per cent to £9.86bn - marking the strongest rate of growth since October 2018 - which has increased demand for professionals in the sector.”

Read more news and views from David Sapsted

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