Financial companies in Britain (F3BANK) may have shed almost a tenth of their jobs by the end of the first quarter since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., according to a survey by Britain’s biggest business lobby group.
In the fourth quarter, banks, insurers and asset managers probably cut 9,000 jobs, and may shed 11,000 workers in the first three months this year, the survey by the Confederation of British Industry estimated. The new losses would mean that since Lehman’s collapse in 2008, about 101,000 jobs will have been lost in an industry that employs 1.05 million people in the U.K., or about 9.6 percent, the CBI said.
“Most notably, headcount fell in banking; that was the fastest rate of fall,” Ian McCafferty, the confederation’s chief economic adviser, said at a conference with journalists before the research was published.
Job vacancies at London’s financial-services firms fell by 43 percent in December, the biggest drop in two years, a separate survey by recruiter Astbury Marsden showed today.
The number of new job openings in the City, London’s main financial district, declined to 1,490 in December from 2,620 in the year-earlier period, Astbury Marsden said in a statement. That’s the biggest fall since January 2010.
The total number of City vacancies created in 2011 fell 8 percent to 54,020 from the year-earlier period, Astbury Marsden said. There were 3.16 qualified candidates for each City job in 2011 compared with 2.17 in 2010, Astbury Marsden said.
HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), Europe’s largest bank, and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS) said in August they planned to cut 30,000 and 2,000 jobs respectively. Barclays Plc (BARC) said it would eliminate about 3,000 positions and Lloyds Banking Group Plc (LLOY) said it plans to lose 15,000 jobs.
The CBI survey found 53 percent of firms saw sales rise in the quarter to December and 24 percent reported a fall.
“In spite of that, firms are less optimistic than they have been,” McCafferty said. “As a result they are expecting a slight moderation in activity over the course of the coming quarter.”
The CBI and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, which helped compile the report, surveyed 106 banks, insurers, customer-owned lenders, investment managers and securities firms from Nov. 21 to Dec. 7.
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