Hiring mainly focused on permanent Financial Services Operations professionals

Ross Sailes 16.10.2018

With just six months until the Brexit deadline, plans for necessary changes are finally being acted on at an operational level and banking recruitment agencies are seeing a rise in vacancies.

The Financial Services Operations recruitment market in Q3

It’s been a long time coming, but plans for the changes needed around Brexit have finally filtered down to operational level, with a number of roles opening in Q3 that are purely focused on Brexit projects. Banks have also been moving some senior employees onto these projects, meaning a slow but constant requirement of temporary hires for roles such as trade processing and client outreach.

The expected ‘September rebound’ hasn’t been quite as prolific as seen in previous years, with things continuing slowly after the summer lull.

What have employers been looking for?

There have been frustrations from clients due to budget restrictions hindering their ability to bring in the numbers they need and this has been reflected in the sentiments at banking recruitment agencies. This has increased the pressure on teams to implement the changes needed. A large number of the roles available have been at junior level and around BAU activities, but it has been difficult to find professionals with the specific experience to hit the ground running on day one.

The volume of contract jobs available fell 13% compared to the previous quarter - this was caused by the slow holiday period, coupled with a stronger appetite to hire on a permanent basis. Clients aren’t overly keen to train contractors on processes, markets, products or systems, even if they intend to keep them employed for a relatively long time.

On the candidate side, the theme of uncertainty has carried on through the year, with a lot of professionals unwilling to leave unless they have secured a stable permanent contract. This has heavily influenced the contract market, as the low number of roles has been accompanied by low numbers of candidates looking to move.

Top Financial Services Operations roles available

  1. Product Management and Development positions, across a range of disciplines, have been in high demand due to the need for specialist knowledge and experience. In an attempt to draw senior candidates away from operational BAU areas, salaries have been up to £90k-£100k compared to BAU Operations Managers who generally are paid £60k-£80k.
  2. Asset Management Client Service positions continue to be high paying at mid level, with salaries up to £60k-£65k. Uncertainty in the market and more candidates staying in their roles has meant less supply and higher demand for the specific skill sets needed.
  3. Head of Operations has continued to be the leading role in terms of pay, due to the need for experience covering BAU, projects, regulation and management. Within Custody, Head of Operations roles have paid up to £140k and within Private Banking, Assistant Head of Operations roles have been paid up to £110k.

Financial Services Operations jobs

For the remainder of 2018…

We are expecting the number of Brexit related vacancies to increase as plans to accommodate for changes are put into place. This should lead to a temporary spike in both project work and operational roles that will be covering team members who have been transferred to the projects and increased activity for banking recruitment agencies.

In Q4 of 2017, we saw a number of roles released in December as firms took steps to get ahead of the game and prepare for New Year budgets. We expect this to happen again, giving a positive end to the year.

Ross Sailes's picture
Manager | Financial Services Operations
rsailes@morganmckinley.co.uk