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Not the best time to be switching jobs in finance

If you thought moving jobs in London would give you a neat little bump in salary, you’d be right. But it’ll probably be the smallest bump a new job could give you in years.

So says recruitment consultancy Morgan McKinley’s quarterly London employment monitor, at least – that finance professionals moving jobs in the city could expect a salary change of only 13%. Morgan MicKinley MD Hakan Enver noted that it was the lowest salary increase percentage since the second quarter of 2020, when the world was in the grips of the coronavirus and lockdowns.

“With companies making redundancies and still a greater proportion of jobseekers active compared to pre-COVID, prospective employers are able to offer more reasonable pay packages,” Enver said. He also noted that this time last year was the best time to move jobs, with salary increases averaging 25%.

Moving out of London might not be the worst idea if the option presents itself. Bloomberg noted last week that a Hong Kong “talent war” meant that bankers willing to jump to a rival could see a 30% jump in pay. The reason for that – and the comparatively less generous London boosts – might be due to rather egregious supply and demand.

“We have a shortage of labor in all disciplines, from mid office to back office to front line,” said Stephen Chan, acting chairperson of the Hong Kong Association of Banks, according to Bloomberg.

London, meanwhile, may be oversaturated with financial talent. Morgan McKinley noted that the number of job openings had fallen by an ugly 23% compared to Q1 of this year, and by a rather monstrous 86% compared to Q2 of 2022. Enver noted that whilst the fall in openings was “a bit gloomy”, it was a return to the city’s normal before the impact of covid and lockdowns.

“We’re seeing slower hiring processes and companies delaying hires to ensure they’re selecting the right candidate… London financial services companies are exercising caution and increasingly relying on temporary workers who offer flexibility and short-term contracts,” Enver said.

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