Late Lunchtime Links: Hays’ results show the tough state of banking recruitment, particularly in the UK

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When large financial services recruiters report their earnings these days, there’s always a sense of dread about how bad a picture it will paint of the current market. Robert Walters wasn’t great, neither was Michael Page and today Hays has again pointed to how tough it is out there.

Hays is, of course, a generalist recruiter with a financial services arm and its results were actually quite good, with profits before tax up 12% to £112.4m in the first half. However, the banking sector is a different kettle of fish. While it doesn’t break out revenue within particular divisions, it does use the words “challenging” and “difficult” whenever banking is mentioned. The UK, in particular is weighing heavy, with private sector fees down 6% year-on-year.

As you can see from the diagram below, banking is the most challenging market globally, along with construction in Brazil and financial services in the UK. Headcount in its UK operations has been reduced by 10% year-on-year to 1,934 consultants.

If you’re a financial services recruiter with language skills, again the message seems to be – head to Germany. In line with other recruitment agencies, Hays has seen growth of 30% year-on-year and has increased its headcount by 16% in the country.


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More bankers are switching careers into compliance (Bloomberg)

The S&P chief credit officer, who oversaw the downgrade of the US, has left (Financial Times)

Citi has paid $590m to settle a shareholder lawsuit over its exposure to toxic assets in the run up to the financial crisis (Financial Times)

Barclays is officially being probed by the SFO over its sovereign wealth fund deal (Financial Times)

Romney is not going to repeal Dodd-Frank, but he could change it significantly (Bloomberg)

Banks are doing all they can to compete in China, including buying lunch for clients (Bloomberg)

A compromise on tough new bonus laws appears more unlikely (Bloomberg)

RBS is set to leave the Asset Protection Scheme, the 12 remaining staff there will lose their jobs (Times)

The desks at Macquarie’s wealth management unit are suspiciously clean ahead of an inspection. Is a sale on the cards? (Deal Journal Australia)

The British public would very much like John Lewis to start out in banking (Telegraph)