LONDON Jobs available in London's financial district jumped by almost one fifth in April as employers took heart from strong results at banks and some confidence returned after the Cypriot banking crisis, research showed on Tuesday.
More than 2,600 new roles were created last month compared to 2,190 in March, when the Cyprus banking crisis hit the hiring market, according to London-based financial services recruiter Astbury Marsden.
"Those fears have now subsided, and boosted by the relatively strong figures for the first three months of 2013 from a number of investment banks, employers are feeling cautiously optimistic," said Astbury Marsden Chief Operating Officer Mark Cameron in a statement.
Last month British bank Lloyds Banking Group said its first-quarter profits trebled, while Barclays reported an 11 percent rise in profits from its investment banking division in the first three months of 2013.
London's banks and financial services companies have slashed thousands of jobs in recent years following a wave of banking scandals and a long-running recession. However recent data show confidence is slowly returning.
April's figure, though down 25 percent year-on-year, was the highest since October 2012.
The research found that demand for workers was particularly high in compliance-related areas as banks reshape their businesses to meet the terms of regulations imposed by authorities following the financial crisis.
This supports the findings of a separate survey released last month which showed that nearly nine in 10 financial services executives around the world are struggling to recruit staff who can interpret new rules.
While jobs were on the rise in April, applicant numbers were steady, up just 1 percent month-on-month and down 24 percent on the previous year, according to the research.
Astbury Marsden's Cameron said smaller bonuses in the wake of increased public and shareholder scrutiny over executive pay may have affected candidates' willingness to move.
"Candidates know how fragile the market is, and with bonuses now making up a smaller proportion of the overall package, there is less of an incentive to pocket a bonus and then rush into a new role," Cameron said.
(Reporting by Clare Hutchison; editing by Keiron Henderson)
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