Banking jobs take another blow

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The bad news for banking jobs has continued with the latest release of the Oliver Job Index. The monthly report says total banking and finance job advertisements fell 3.8% in July and 13.92% over the previous 12 months. The year-on-year decline was the worst of any sector.

Report author Bob Olivier, director of recruiter Olivier Group says retail banking jobs were hardest hit, while i-banking job ads were down 2.9% for the month, which is slightly less than the finance sector average.

Troy Angus, portfolio manager with Paradise Investment, says the local banking sector should expect more tough times. "Credit growth in the current environment is lower than recent years and that'll weigh on bank profitability. However margins should expand over the next six to twelve months, particularly as the RBA looks to be moving towards easing rates. If we get an interest rate cut in September of this year, that'll be good for bank margins."

However Angus says it's unlikely the employment market for bankers will pick up any time soon and he expects more job cuts. "The banks are not growing earnings, which makes it a tough environment. They'd be cutting net staff before adding to net staff."

Less bearish is recruiter John Coles, chief executive of Executive Group International, who admits the job market is patchy but there are pockets of activity. "There's always demand for quality people, while at the bottom end of the market, people are still coming in. The smaller fund managers are still fairly active, while the hedge funds are still muscling up. It's not all doom and gloom like the Asian contagion or the tech wreck," says Cole.