London Finance Job Vacancies Fell 21% in 2013, Astbury Says

Jan 13, 2014 6:29 am ET

(Adds annual declines from 2011 in fifth paragraph.)

Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Job vacancies at London’s financial- services companies fell 21 percent in 2013 as banks curbed hiring plans, the third consecutive annual decline, according to a recruitment firm.

Job openings in the City and Canary Wharf financial districts declined to 27,915 in 2013 from 35,115 a year earlier, London-based Astbury Marsden said in a statement today. A recovery in December saw the number of jobs increase 67 percent compared with the same month in 2012.

“The last couple of years have seen the banks undergoing fundamental restructuring, and in most business areas they were more likely to downsize teams than to make plans to expand,” Chief Operating Officer Mark Cameron said in the statement. “We are still waiting for the big investment banks to flex their muscles and initiate the levels of hiring needed to sustain the recovery.”

European securities firms are cutting jobs to reduce costs and accede to regulators’ demands that they scale back certain investment-banking activities. Deutsche Bank AG plans to exit commodities-trading businesses including base metals and agriculture, affecting about 200 people, while Barclays Plc plans to cut 1,700 jobs in its British branches, the labor union Unite said in November.

The decline in job vacancies last year was less steep than the 35 percent drop from 2011 to 2012, Astbury Marsden said.

“Shrinkage has slowed,” Cameron said. “In both November and December, the number of new roles has been better in comparison to the same month the previous year, rather than worse, as had been the case for 22 consecutive months.”

--Editors: Keith Campbell, Steve Bailey