Banks’ requirements have varied significantly in 2019, with smaller banks focusing on Financial Control and the larger banks hiring Regulatory Reporting jobs, Accounting Policy and Performance Management.
A number of external factors have played a key role so far this year, not least Brexit uncertainty and the impact of IR35 on longer term contract opportunities. Despite this, the flow of jobs for various finance roles has been consistent across different sized banks. The finance contract jobs market remains largely client led, meaning it has become even more competitive for job seekers.
The only regulatory concern has been the growing consideration for the aforementioned IR35 and how it will affect contract hiring for the rest of 2019 and into 2020. Some banks have been hiring employees on Fixed Term Contracts or permanently rather than contractors in an attempt to protect themselves, whilst the majority have maintained their hiring of contract professionals, with contracts in some instances running until the latter half of 2020.
Banks’ requirements have varied enormously, looking to hire across numerous disciplines. The smaller banks have been concentrating within Financial Control, from Finance Business Partners to low level accounts processing roles. In contrast, larger banks have focused on Regulatory Reporting jobs, Accounting Policy and Performance Management roles. Product Control has remained an area of consistent hiring and we expect this to continue as investment banks spread their presence across new products.
Historically, contractors and interim workers would not receive the same level of benefits as permanent employees. This said, agile or flexible working is increasingly being encouraged in various finance contract jobs across banking disciplines. Diversity continues to be an area of focus, and all have seemingly embraced this by hiring from a broader portfolio of candidates, taking into account age, skill set, ethnic groups and cultures.
Within the contract market, we have seen a few things that particularly stood out over the first half of this year. Hiring managers have consistently been looking for candidates who have remained in roles for long durations, possess regulatory and technical accounting knowledge, as well as having an appetite to commit to a long term future with them.
In terms of demanded skill sets, the most frequent have been:
If you are waiting to hear back from various applications, ensure you regularly stay in touch with your recruitment consultant and consider any additional roles they put forward, you could be a good fit for those as well!
In an increasingly competitive market for job seekers, it is beneficial to ensure you have completed all relevant qualifications. Any additional understanding of the effects of the changing regulatory landscape is also valuable.