Contractors lose faith in finance

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IT contractors are fleeing financial services as the proportion of workers in the industry hits its lowest level for three years.

A report by contractor services company Giant Group says just 22% of contractors are working in the financial sector, down from 25% in the third quarter of 2007.

Nor does this look set to change: only 23% of the 1,500 contractors surveyed expect the majority of job opportunities to be in the financial services sector next year.

Banks may regret driving away contract staff, however. Matthew Brown, managing director of Giant Group, says the credit turmoil could create opportunities for contractors in the medium term.

"Banks and funds will be looking at IT solutions, such as improving their computer risk modelling and beefing up their back-office IT systems to handle exceptionally high trade volumes," he says.

The bad news for contractors fleeing the City is that they can earn considerably more there. Senior contractors and those in product or development manager positions can expect to command 1,000 a day. Meanwhile, IT headhunters say that a good Java developer can earn up to 400 a day in other sectors, but could double that if they moved across to financial services.

So, if financial services is losing its allure, where are contractors going? The survey says huge projects such as the London 2012 Olympics and the City's Crossrail network are tempting IT contractors to the engineering and construction industry.

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