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City workers say lack of jobs no longer tying them to current employer

According to Astbury Marsden the proportion of respondents citing a lack of opportunities elsewhere as the key reason why they are still with their existing employer has fallen by two fifths from 21.2% to 12.9% of respondents in the last year.

Astbury Marsden says that turnover of staff at banks and fund managers has been unusually low in the City over the past five years as many employees felt there were so few opportunities that it was not even worth looking for a new position.

Although recent job turnover has been low by City standards the research found that 60% of City workers have still changed jobs in the last three years – with only one in five (22%) remaining with the same employer for more than five years.

Adam Jackson, managing director of Astbury Marsden says, “Confidence about career progression appears to be gathering strength in the City, with more and more workers feeling that their employment options at other firms are widening.”

“Employers will need to be alert to the increasing risk of churn and plan recruitment and retention strategies accordingly. They will also want to carefully screen those staff they are planning to recruit to ensure they have a good fit both in terms of skills and culture as that will reduce staff turnover.”

Astbury Marsden says that if firms want to incentivise employees to stay, providing career progression opportunities within their organisation is key - 91% of respondents said this was an effective or very effective retention tool. Paying above the market rate and offering other appealing incentives and bonuses are next on the list (with 84% of respondents each).

However, surprisingly, longer-term financial incentives such as stock options and equity awards are not nearly as highly rated, with just over half (56%) saying they are an effective or very effective retention tool. Astbury Marsden says that the current lack of enthusiasm for stock options may have been caused by the uneven financial performance of banks over the last five years.

Private banking and wealth management sector sees greatest loyalty – brokers see the least.

The research also found that out of front office staff, those working in private banking and wealth management are the most loyal to their employers, with fewer than half (46%) having changed jobs within the last three years.

By contrast, corporate brokers and stockbrokers had the highest three-year turnover, with more than two-thirds (67%) moving on within this time (see graph below).

Says Jackson, “Private bankers and wealth managers’ employment turnover is well below the industry average, suggesting that they are feeling challenged and rewarded in their jobs for longer than any other client facing or revenue generating role.”

“At the other end of the scale, a far larger proportion of brokers have been enticed away to new posts in the last year, as opportunities increase and loyalty wanes.”




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