As unfeasible as it sounds, especially to fixed income traders in large investment banks, employment in the UK financial services industry continued to increase last year. Headcount across the City rose by 2% in 2013, according to a new report, with banking and fund management the most active sectors and 2014 will be even better.
The report comes from CityUK, a body that promotes investment into the UK financial services industry, but paints a picture of an industry in the midst of growth, rather than contraction. Across the London banking sector there are now 147,100 people employed, it suggests, a 2% uplift on 2012 – a year when nearly 3,000 people were cut from the sector. There are now 23,100 people working in fund management in the UK, it says, a rise of 800 on the previous year, or a 3.6% uptick.
Adding to the new-found feeling of optimism around financial services employment, the report is forecasting an additional 12,700 jobs in 2014, 5,700 of which will be in the banking sector. Yesterday recruiters Morgan McKinley said that 7,623 jobs were created in London's financial sector during January, an increase of 65% on 2013, while the CBI/PwC predicts that 15,000 new financial services jobs will emerge during the first three months of 2014.
While positive, the figures should undoubtedly be greeted with some caution. Just 47% of the jobs included in the survey were in either the City of London or Canary Wharf, suggesting that contraction in the investment banking and capital markets sectors will not have negatively impacted overall figures too much.
Interestingly, for a sector associated with huge recruitment sprees, overall numbers in accounting and management consultant remain below the 2007 peak of 216,200, while the financial services industry as a whole has increased employment by nearly 27,000 people over the same period, suggests the survey.