2014 isn't proving a great year for jobs in the UK insurance market. Research by IMAS, the finance-focused corporate finance house, shows that the number of new insurance hires registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) fell 5% between January and April compared to the same period of 2013.
In total, 328 people were newly registered in insurance jobs with the FCA in the first three months of this year, down from 344 a year previously.
The biggest drop, of nearly 33%, from 92 to 62 newly registered individuals, was in the 'risk' category, which includes the Lloyds reinsurance market and some personal lines work. By comparison, the number of newly registered insurance brokers rose 7% from 222 to 238 people.
Slow hiring in the reinsurance sector may be linked to concerns about pricing. Last month, ratings agency Standard & Poors issued a report suggesting that reinsurance companies are at risk of ratings downgrades as competition for customers drives both prices and revenues lower.
Richard Usher, director of recruitment firm Hays' insurance arm says the trend for insurance recruitment has been, "mixed," in 2014. "Actuarial hiring has dropped off a lot now that Solvency II has been delayed," says Usher. Claims and underwriting have also been quiet, he says. However, Usher agrees that insurance broking jobs are robust and increasing. "Good people will always be hired into brokerage jobs because they generate cash for the business. Brokerage recruitment is as strong as it has been for the past two or three years," he says.