Michael Page’s 2015 annual Banking & Financial Services Salary Survey has shown that market confidence is strongest amongst front office banking jobs, with next year’s economic forecast looking considerably positive for banking & financial services professionals.   
The survey, conducted by Michael Page staff, revealed high levels of optimism from a macro perspective and displayed growth across several front office areas; including mergers & acquisitions, leveraged finance, asset finance and corporate banking. 
Andrew Breach, Head of Page Executive’s newly launched Banking and Financial Services Practice, says the hiring trends in 2015 will undoubtedly outperform the hiring trends in 2014 and the UK economic performance should mirror this growth. 
“Despite increased pressure within the banking & financial services industry, business attitudes remain fundamentally optimistic and 2015 looks positive in terms of the hiring market. Interestingly, the US economy remains robust and is delivering above-trend growth in the banking & financial services industry. The UK, while not performing to the same level as it US counterparts, is delivering strong results and is substantially outperforming mainland Europe. 
“However, employees need to understand that the outlook for businesses will remain in a state of flux as recent economic data shows that both the UK and global economy recovery remain fragile. That being said, significant improvements have been made since 2009 and a thriving and buoyant job market is now a reality,” says Mr Breach. 
In addition, the survey revealed that several banks have attempted to stem the flow of its junior employees by increasing base salaries, to an extent where anomalies can occur, i.e. a Senior Associate can be paid £110k while a junior, underperforming, Director can be paid £130k. 
“With the EU bonus cap coming into force, many sell-side institutions are affected by the 100% and 200% caps and salaries which have subsequently gone up to compensate. People are realising that compensation is taking a backseat and employers need to focus on strategies for retention, not just at a company level but a divisional and team level,” explains Mr Breach.  
Mr Breach also says that more businesses are increasing their female talent at mid and senior levels.
“The increasing focus on retaining more female candidates at a higher level of seniority has benefitted our company’s target to increase the number of female candidates on short lists for retained search. With the World Economic Forum predicting that the workplace gender gap will not close until as late as 2095, banks and financial institutions can no longer avoid addressing this issue. 
“The glass ceiling is by no means broken, but we are witnessing a remarkable improvement in gender equality in the banking & financial services industry and where attitudes have widely altered, practice must now catch up,” concludes Mr Breach. 
If you’d like to interview Andrew Breach for more information on the 2015 banking & financial services job market, please contact Sophie Tudor
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