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Banking & financial services professionals predict headcount growth in 2015

From Nov-Dec 2014, Michael Page surveyed over 5,000 financial professionals on their views and opinions on a variety of compensation, recruitment and career topics.

The expectation that 2015 will be a year for hiring has certainly increased, as the survey revealed that 45% of our respondents now believe that growth is imminent this year with nearly 20% of those predicting that headcount is going to increase “significantly”.

Andrew Breach, Head of Page Executive’s newly launched Banking and Financial Services practice, says the hiring trends in 2015 promise to outperform those in 2014 as UK economic performance continues to improve, particularly in the financial services sector.

“There is clear evidence that banking and financial professionals do have a more optimistic and positive outlook. The fear of redundancy and the desire to find more stable employers has waned considerably over the last three years and has fallen again in 2014, showing that there is finally a clear perception of greater stability in the market and that headcount has now normalised.

“Many of our responses indicate the view that although the big Investment Banks (IB) are likely to continue to focus on managing their costs bases (particularly in infrastructure), the rest of the market, especially the mid tier and boutique businesses outside the IB arena, show more potential for growth in 2015,” explains Mr Breach.

The continuing shift in market opinion is positive news for all financial services companies however the survey confirms that as employees start to perceive an improvement in the market, they also begin to expect commensurate improvements in pay and conditions.

“While there is some improvement in pockets of the market, the larger employers are unlikely to make wholesale changes while expecting more for the same or less. This is a key driver in the increased appetite of individuals in these companies to apply for a new job and the rise in the number of passive job seekers,” says Mr Breach.

Additionally, the survey revealed that 58% of respondents do expect an increase in base pay going into 2015.

“The disconnect between the expectation of employees in terms of pay increases and the reality of employers trying to keep costs low, combined with the current candidate driven market, means that 2015 will see a high percentage of city workers looking to move jobs. If bosses want to keep their key staff they will have to improve pay,” concludes Mr Breach.

To read the full 2015 Michael Page Banking & Financial Services Salary Survey, visit  


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