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October 14, 2019updated 31 Jan 2022 10:44am

London financial services jobs “defying political chaos”, but uncertainty remains

By Ellen Daniel

With continued uncertainty over when the UK will leave the EU, many businesses have been left with more questions than answers when it comes to Brexit planning. However, according to recruitment agency Morgan McKinley financial services jobs in the City are “defying political chaos”.

The past few months have seen much uncertainty in the job market, with Morgan McKinley noting that there had been a “spike, nosedive, level off, and threaten to head back down again” in London’s job market.

However, according to Morgan McKinley’s Autumn London Employment Monitor, the third quarter of the year saw a 12% quarter-on-quarter increase in financial services jobs as well as a 12% increase in job seekers.

Nonetheless, despite a short-term uptake in financial services jobs, there is still a 37% decrease in jobs available, year-on-year, and a 25% decrease in job seekers, year-on-year.

Fintech leads financial services jobs resilience

The city’s fintech industry has proved especially resilient, with London becoming the second highest city for fintech investment, after San Francisco.

Hakan Enver, Managing Director, Morgan McKinley UK believes that despite an uptick in financial services jobs, a lack of certainty has led to a lack of movement in the profession:

“Pressure remains strong on both businesses and individual job seekers to hunker down and wait for a resolution on Brexit. As a result, professionals remain reluctant to move, thus failing to generate new positions and growth opportunities for others, and businesses continue to put off all but essential hiring.”

“We are witnessing a political circus taking place in Parliament, and a political circus on the global stage. Between Brexit, international trade tensions, and opposition politicians pushing for anti-business policies, we are suffering a real leadership deficit. Because financial services businesses have been preparing for a hard Brexit for over two years, they are proving remarkably resilient. They don’t want a hard Brexit but they’re ready for it”.

According to the CBI PwC Financial Services Survey for Q3 of 2019, despite a growth in employment, optimism continues to decline, with the possibility of a no-deal Brexit contributing to this.

Enver describes this as a “tale of two economies”, with other sectors hit by Brexit uncertainty:

“We are still living a tale of two economies. On the one hand, unemployment is low and wages are high. On the other, manufacturing is falling and business is operating in a state of perpetual uncertainty. If it weren’t for Brexit, it would be fair to say the economy is doing well”.

“The resilience of the UK’s financial services sector tells me that once the worst of this is behind us, be it a hard Brexit or something more reasonable, the economy is going to come back in full force. You can’t keep London down.”

Read More: UK government issues no-deal Brexit preparation checklist for tech firms.