Morgan McKinley’s Summer London Employment Monitor details City hiring trends from April through June 2019. The second quarter of the year saw dramatic decreases across the board in terms of both jobs available and professionals seeking jobs. Despite this, the quarter was not without some bright spots: job seekers increased in May and June by 7% and 5% respectively, month-on-month. June also saw a 3% month-on-month increase in jobs available.
Morgan McKinley’s findings for the financial services market are contrast to other sectors including technology which has seen jobs in London rise by 60 per cent since 2010, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). ONS also showed the number of people in work in the UK had reached its highest level since 1971, hitting 32.7 million.
Hakan Enver, Managing Director, Morgan McKinley UK commented:
“News of Prime Minister Theresa May’s resignation signalled a potential shift in Brexit negotiations in the months ahead, but with no new leader in place, these negotiations remain at an impasse. While most sectors in Britain have seen an increase in hiring despite the deadlock, the financial services sector is especially vulnerable to regulatory uncertainty and remains slow.”
“Major banking organisations as well as those from the wider financial services space, have refrained from investing in talent due to the lack of clarity. Furthermore, banks have made no secret of announcing job cuts, various restructuring and moving jobs overseas, all of which contribute to the ongoing sluggishness of City hiring with countless projects and plans on hold. Deutsche Bank, HSBC, and Nomura are just the latest to cut City jobs.”
“If we have a no-deal Brexit, those projects and all the jobs they would have generated go from being on hold to being cancelled. Whoever takes up residence on Downing Street must remember that financial services is the single largest contributor to Britain’s tax base. If those jobs keep being treated like collateral damage, eventually someone else is going to have to pick up the tab for the government’s expenses.”
“The City always bounces back from downturns, and it is chomping at the bit to bounce back from Brexit, but the farther we go down this hole, the harder the climb back up will be.”
Technology sector visas a model for post-Brexit financial services sector
Despite flattening out in the first quarter of 2019, projections for fintech’s growth in Britain remain optimistic. Experts estimate needing to fill thousands of fintech jobs in the UK in the decade ahead. As applications for visas for the technology sector grew by 45%, a record number of visas were issued to technology professionals and the government made a resounding commitment to ensure that top technology talent will be welcome in Britain.
“The financial services sector benefits from any efforts to attract technology talent to the UK. But we need this type of nimble, forward looking approach to be applied to the broader financial services sector, as well. As it stands now, the process and odds of getting a visa to work in the City are too opaque, which is pushing people to look to alternative financial services hubs, such as New York, Singapore and Hong Kong,” said Enver.