If you're looking for a banking job now, you have impeccable timing. So say two recruitment firms, Morgan McKinley and Astbury Marsden. Both have just released their verdicts on the City jobs market. Both are quite bullish. There the similarities end.
Astbury Marsden says 3,400 jobs were created in the City during October 2014. That was 46% more jobs than it says were created in London during October 2013.
Where have all these new banking jobs come from? Astbury Marsden points to the 'digital agenda.' It says banks are automating processes to strip out costs. They're also investing in risk and regulatory technology systems. They're investing in new collateral management systems. And they're restructuring across the back office to prepare for the ring-fencing of retail banking businesses as mandated by the Bank of England.
Morgan McKinley's City jobs snapshot is different. It thinks that 7,410 jobs were created in the City of London during October 2014. This is a lot more than Astbury Marsden's 3,400, but is an increase of only 2% on Morgan McKinley's figure for last year. And while Astbury Marsden thinks digitalization is driving jobs in banking, Morgan McKinley thinks it's all down to London's appeal as a financial centre and says compliance hiring is the area of particular strength. If you want a compliance job now, Morgan McKinley says all areas are hot - from control room to advisory, known your client (KYC), anti-money laundering, and monitoring.
Technology and compliance jobs in the City both pay well.
Morgan McKinley provides the following chart showing the state of compliance pay in London. As a vice president in compliance with around six years' experience, it suggests you can earn £106k, on average.
Astbury Marsden doesn't provide any new figures for technology pay. But according to its most recent salary survey, the mean salary for banking tech jobs is around £65k and the mean bonus is around £15k, making the average package in banking technology around £80k. For the hottest jobs, it's likely to be higher still. - In a new salary survey issued along with its job figures, Morgan McKinley says that senior systems implementer and project managers can earn salaries alone of £75k.
The two recruiters suggest you should be applying for finance jobs now.- Especially if you want to work in technology or in compliance. Morgan McKinley says there are only 1.2 new candidates chasing each new finance job in the City, down from a recent high of 3.9 in December 2011. Things are clearly looking up. The large disparity between the two recruiters' figures is unnerving, however. Both may susceptible to wishful thinking. The process of calculating City job numbers looks more like an art than a science.