Career Advice Job Market Trend Report

Finance job vacancies in London drop as bankers await bonuses

Job vacancies at London's financial services companies fell 5 per cent in November from the previous month as bankers awaited the announcement of annual bonuses.

The number of job openings in Canary Wharf and the City financial districts rose 29 per cent to 3,212 from a year earlier, according to recruitment firm Astbury Marsden. That compares with a 25 per cent gain in the number of new roles over the past 12 months from a year earlier.

"The City has had a strong run recently, so perhaps it is not surprising that with the bonus season approaching, we are hitting a lull," said Adam Jackson, director at Astbury Marsden. "Staff are waiting to see the size of their bonus cheques before they move, so there is less replacement hiring going on."

While hiring in fixed income, commodities and currencies remains subdued as regulators step up pressure on banks to hold higher capital buffers, a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) surge could prompt firms to add staff, according to Astbury Marsden.

M&As involving British companies rose 62 per cent to US$298 billion this year, according to Bloomberg data. BT Group is seeking to buy a British wireless carrier, while Stryker is examining a bid for US$16 billion British medical-device maker Smith & Nephew.

"M&A activity is buoyant," Jackson said. "If it continues, it will feed into hiring for investment bankers."