City job openings down almost a third as Brexit uncertainty dampens hiring

Job openings slid in the year to June (Nick Ansell/PA) Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

London’s financial services industry suffered a 29% drop in job openings in the year to June as Brexit uncertainty continues to dampen hiring in the capital.

A report by Morgan McKinley shows the number of jobs available last month dropped by nearly a third year-on-year, while those seeking jobs tumbled 35%.

The figures were slightly more promising on a month-on-month basis, with the amount of jobs available up 4%, but the report warned over celebrating too soon.

“No-one should uncork any champagne bottles just yet,” Hakan Enver, the managing director of Morgan McKinley Financial Services, said.

“Businesses still have a lot of pressing questions about their post-Brexit future.

“But with talks of a deal finally ramping up, optimism is slowly beginning to return.”

Month-on-month, the number of professionals on the job hunt increased 29% last month, marking the first job-seeker spike outside January in two-and-a-half years.

Mr Enver said it signalled a rebound in “extraordinary confidence in London’s financial services jobs market”.

The report highlighted recent commitments by major banks including HSBC, which is aiming to expand both its mortgage market share and commercial customer base in the UK, while Goldman Sachs’s pending UK launch of its Marcus retail bank has meant hiring extra staff in London.

“Actions speak louder than words: when Goldman Sachs says they’re moving jobs to Paris but also creates 150 new jobs in London as well as committing to a new nine-storey site in 2019, that’s what we measure,” Mr Enver said.

But 50 of those staff hired for Marcus in the UK will be based in the call centres, rather than in financial services positions.

Plans for UK expansion must also be measured against HSBC’s plans to shift as many as 1,000 staff to Paris in light of Brexit, while Goldman expects to at least double its 200-strong workforce in Frankfurt.

“We’re past an either-or scenario: some staff will be needed in the EU to manage the regulatory fallout, but the investments and innovation talent will remain concentrated in London,” Mr Enver said.

Industry salaries have continued to grow, with financial services professionals experiencing an average 16% rise in pay when moving to a new role in June.

That would represent around £9,812 on average for those switching to another company.

However, that marks a slowdown from the average 27% pay rise for those that switched roles in May.