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Are the glory days back? The stats suggest so, but the make up of the UK financial services sector is changing.

The number of people employed in London's financial sector now exceeds 2007...

Good news – financial services is back in the City of London! The number of people employed in the sector in the UK now exceeds 2007! The financial crisis is well and truly behind us!

OK, maybe not. In yet another effusive look into employment in the UK financial services sector, the City UK – a body set up to promote the financial sector in Britain – says there are now 703,900 employed in ‘financial and related professional services’ in London. This, for the first time in seven years, exceeds the 2007 figure of 691,700.

So, let’s back up a little and look where the growth really is. Of that headline figure, 390,500 people work outside of either the City of London or Canary Wharf – instead classified as being in ‘other London’. What you’re seeing, therefore, is not a recovery in the jobs that were prevalent during the financial crisis, but a shift in growth across a very broad definition of financial services.

Driving much of the growth were accounting and management consulting firms, which have increased headcount by 5% since last year and by 16% since 2007. Meanwhile, asset management firms, which have been bolstering employee numbers for a few years now, increased overall headcount by 4.5% throughout 2014.

So, who’s ruining the party? The City UK says that investment banks’ continued focus on cost-cutting “supressed overall hiring in the London financial services market”.


AUTHORPaul Clarke

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