New London finance jobs fall by 35 percent

LONDON Mon Jan 7, 2013 10:56am GMT

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LONDON (Reuters) - The number of new jobs created in the City of London fell by more than a third last year as financial firms focused on cost-cutting, research by recruitment agency Astbury Marsden shows.

The agency estimates that 35,115 new City jobs were created in 2012, down 35 percent on the year before. Only about 800 new jobs were created in December, it said, compared with 1,490 in December 2011.

Banks worldwide are shedding jobs as stricter regulations and euro zone worries take their toll on trading income and investment banking operations.

"2012 was a busy year for HR departments across the City as cost-cutting remained a key focus for senior management and board members throughout the year," Mark Cameron, chief operating officer at Astbury Marsden, said.

"Tighter regulation including higher capital requirements forced up costs at a time when revenues dipped due to a number of factors, including a continued weak economy and less trading activity," he added.

Cameron said that cuts had been particularly significant in 2012 because banks had implemented major restructuring, including the winding down of entire business units. Swiss bank UBS (UBSN.VX) axed 10,000 staff and wound down its fixed-income business.

On a more optimistic note, Cameron said that most of the obvious and immediate cuts have already been made and the worst may be over.

The recruitment company also said that hiring prospects could be improved by signs that lawmakers are getting to grips with the euro zone crisis and by the deal struck by U.S. politicians to delay budget spending cuts and avoid hefty tax increases.

(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by David Goodman)

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