U.K. banks are increasingly concerned about their ability to attract employees as hiring in financial services rose in the first quarter, according to a survey by Britain’s biggest business lobby group.
Banks, insurers and asset managers probably added 5,000 jobs in the first quarter, and may hire 9,000 workers in the three months to the end of June, the study by the Confederation of British Industry said. Revenue at banks may have risen in the first quarter, while still lagging normal levels, the survey said.
“The trend at the moment is a desire to hire more given business volumes,” said Kevin Burrowes, U.K. financial services leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, which helped compile the report. “Press comment and political comment on pay in the sector is beginning to translate into people being nervous about wanting to work in that sector.”
Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition government and the opposition Labour Party have urged banks that were bailed out by the taxpayer, such as Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS), to show restraint on pay awards. People considering working for banks may be looking toward other sectors, such as technology, where pay is also high, said Burrowes.
“Perhaps you want to work for Apple rather than a bank, you might go and do that,” Burrowes said. “There are a number of attractive sectors that pay very well.”
The survey also found 32 percent more respondents said they were more optimistic about total business than three months ago. Banks were 26 percent more optimistic.
The CBI and PwC surveyed 95 banks, insurers, customer-owned lenders, investment managers and securities firms from Feb. 23 to March 8.
Separately, London recruitment firm Astbury Marsden said today that job vacancies at London’s financial services companies fell 11 percent to 3,180 in March as banks delayed plans to hire.
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