Jobs in UK banking on the rise
Skip to content

Back in the dark days of the financial crisis, the number of jobs in banking plummeted as several giants of the sector ran into deep trouble. Whether it was in the City or on the High Street, the shedding of roles was a symptom many ignored. Far from being the fat cats who got away with it as some would claim, many lost their jobs.

Whether it was the collapse of Lehmann Brothers - with the consequent shedding of roles in its London offices - or the reductions in staff numbers at the various bailed-out banks, many sought to leave the industry. For example, stories were rife of how bankers with considerable maths aptitude were moving into teaching, which by nature is the most recession-proof of jobs.

The dissipation of the storm clouds was never going to be fast and the financial sector is still engaged in a process of renewal, reorganisation and rebuilding, but there can be no doubt the situation today is very different to that of 2008. People seeking new private banking jobs and corporate banking jobs alike are seeing a steady increase in the number of vacancies.

Indeed, the latest report on jobs by the Recruitment and Employers' Confederation (REC) and KPMG identified the financial and accountancy sector as being second only to engineering in November when it came to the demand for new staff. 

The upward trend in financial sector jobs did not begin in 2014, however. Data from the Office for National Statistics has revealed that the number of financial sector jobs increased by 5.5 per cent - equating to 18,000 jobs - in London alone between 2009 and 2012. While 2012-13 brought a dip in numbers, this was evidently a blip in an upward trend. 

However, there is no doubt 2014 has seen a significant surge in employment, particularly in the City of London. A study by TheCityUK published in October revealed that the number of people working in the financial sector had grown to an all-time high of 703,900 by June 2014, 11 per cent more than at the low point during the financial crisis and two per cent higher than before the storm broke in 2007. Moreover, employers reported that their outlook for the rest of 2014 and beyond was highly optimistic.

Based on these October 2014 figures, there were 143,300 banking staff in the capital, so it may very soon be the case that the number passes 150,000.

With plenty of banks looking for skilled staff, it is important they find the people with the right skills - and as the supply of UK candidates drops it may be important to revise recruitment strategies. That can mean looking overseas if that is where the talent will come from, as well as offering competitive packages.