Your Bank Is Moving to Frankfurt? Ask for a Raise

  • Recruitment CEO says there are skills shortages outside London
  • Frankfurt is the biggest winner in the fight for U.K. jobs

Banks planning to shift parts of their operations from London to other European cities because of Brexit will have to increase salaries because of a skills shortage, according to the head of a recruitment company.

Robert Walters, founder and chief executive officer of the eponymous company, said any banks hoping to move work to European cities such as Frankfurt would find “there’s nobody to hire.” Walters, whose company recruits for finance roles, said certain skills were concentrated in London.

Salaries would “go through the roof” in order to attract workers with the necessary skills, Walters said by phone. He cautioned that the shift of work from London to other cities might not happen or might only take place on a small scale.

To read more on the potential impact of Brexit on London’s banks, click here

While it isn’t clear how many jobs will be moved from London to European cities, Brussels-based think tank Bruegel has said London could lose 10,000 banking positions and 20,000 roles in financial services because of Brexit. That suggests that if salaries did rise, the cost for banks would be substantial.

Robert Walters has offices in cities including Frankfurt, Dublin, Paris and Amsterdam. If banks did move work to European offices, it would be “great” for his company, Walters said.
“If there’s a challenge in hiring staff it’s quite good for us, because what tends to happen is they need recruitment firms even more than normal.”

Robert Walters places candidates in fields including finance, accounting, human resources and information technology. First-half revenue rose 25 percent and pretax profit climbed 39 percent, figures published Wednesday show.

Frankfurt has emerged as the biggest winner in the fight for London-based jobs. Citigroup Inc., Standard Chartered Plc and Nomura Holdings Inc. have chosen to set up European Union headquarters in Frankfurt to ensure continued access to the single market, and HSBC Holdings Plc has chosen Paris. Separately, Deutsche Bank AG may shift about 300 billion euros ($350 billion) from the balance sheet of its U.K. entity to Frankfurt, according to a person familiar with the matter.

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