London Financial Job Vacancies Jump 25%, Survey Says

Job vacancies at financial-services companies in London jumped by 25 percent in the first quarter as firms bolstered their compliance and risk-management divisions to placate regulators, a survey showed.

Vacancies in London’s main financial district, known as the City, and elsewhere in the British capital climbed to 7,308 from 5,859 in the fourth quarter, recruitment consultant Morgan McKinley said in a statement today. Still, the number of available jobs fell 7 percent in March from a month ago.

“There is more appetite to hire and the process is more fluid with fewer obstacles to bringing new talent on board,” Hakan Enver, operations director at Morgan McKinley Financial Services, said in the statement. “March 2013 was negatively affected by Easter coming earlier than usual, causing it to be a shorter working month and disrupting the process of releasing new roles to the market.”

Global regulators have asked banks to strengthen risk management and boost oversight in response to recent scandals that have undermined the reputation of the financial-services industry. A survey of lenders by the Financial Stability Board published in February found that “significant gaps” persist in risk management, with nearly half of the companies failing to meet “fundamental” criteria for sound governance.

Rogue Traders

Banks including UBS AG and Barclays Plc have been hit by scandals ranging from rogue traders to interest-rate fixing. HSBC Holdings Plc and Standard Chartered Plc both paid fines in the U.S. over failures to halt the laundering of money in sanctioned countries such as Iran.

The number of new job seekers fell 7 percent in March from the previous month, the survey showed. New hires received an average pay of 77,296 pounds ($118,317), up 17 percent from their previous position, “indicating that competitive salary offers are out there for sectors of the market where professionals are in high demand,” according to the statement.

“Governance-related functions including risk management, compliance and internal audit, as well as change management -- specifically focusing on finance -- are areas where talent is still sought after,” McKinley’s Enver said in the statement.

Gross domestic product rose 0.1 percent in the first quarter after falling 0.3 percent in the previous three months, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research estimated this week, indicating Britain will avoid a triple-dip recession.

The 40-member Bloomberg Europe Banks and Financial Services Index rose for a third day, closing up 0.6 percent in London. It has gained 3.2 percent this year.

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