What's happening to banks' IT hiring?

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The spate of senior-level technology departures at St George Bank continues. Acting chief information officer, Greg Booker, was the latest to jump ship.

Booker is off to wealth management and insurance company ING Australia.

St George failed to comment on the departure or whether it signalled a major upheaval for IT jobs at the bank or in the sector as a whole.

While St George remains tight lipped, recruiter Simon Lynch, national director, technology, at Michael Page, says it's a tale of two halves for employment prospects for techies. "The global banks affected by sub prime have shut up shop to some degree. However the likes of Macquarie, who don't have as much exposure, still have projects on the go and are finding it easier to get talent."

Lynch says the hiring slowdown isn't affecting salaries. "There's no massive drop, although there's more competitive tension for jobs. Where candidates were getting massive premiums, they'll get their market value."

Sydney-based Dudley Levell, director of Finrecruit, a specialist in recruiting IT professionals for the financial services sector, says demand is still strong for candidates with a mix of technical skills such as Java, C++ or C# and business knowledge of the equities, fixed income and/or foreign exchange markets.

Levell says earnings for IT banking professionals are variable, but salaries for front-office developers are typically between AU$110k and $150k. Bonuses are, however, proving lower than in previous years.

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