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Recruiters say they're now hiring more talent from places like India and Canada.

London banking recruiters: "Brexit isn't cause of talent shortage"

Is Brexit to blame for the shortage of banking talent in London? While a growing chorus of voices suggest it is, some recruiters say the current dearth of talent is unrelated. 

“There are two reasons for the shortage of talent, and I don’t think that Brexit is a key cause," says Logan Naidu, founder and chief executive of recruitment firm Dartmouth Partners. "Firstly, a lot of people quit the market last year and left altogether or went home to take local jobs; that was mostly pandemic-related.  Secondly, the market has bounced back ferociously and people have far more opportunities and options than before. It’s created a supply issue; there’s a war for talent and the only lever a bank can pull is pay. In the long term, I don’t think it will solve the problem” 

Naidu's comments come after Vis Raghavan, chief executive officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at JPMorgan, said yesterday that the European market for talent is fragmenting as individuals relocate to Europe and elsewhere. "This does not bode well, especially for the financial industry," Raghavan added.

Similarly, a research paper released last week by TheCityUK said talent was becoming the number one issue for banks in London and called for a relaxation of immigration rules. 

However, the head of a rival recruitment firm in London said the immigration rules have already changed since Brexit, and that this is proving advantageous for banking recruitment. "Under the new points system, banks and funds are easily able to hire global talent into jobs in London," he said. "We're seeing a lot more people being hired from places like India, Australia and Canada as a result."

The ability to speak Continental European languages isn't really an issue, he added: "Most banks and private equity funds want to hire English speakers with good technical skills."

Instead of Brexit, he says problems finding talent have been worsened by the fact that junior bankers trained during the pandemic are less strong technically: "Junior bankers who sat at home in 2020 received poor training due to COVID."

Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com in the first instance. Whatsapp/Signal/Telegram also available (Telegram: @SarahButcher)

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Photo by Tomek Baginski on Unsplash

 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Na
    Nancy Sy
    10 October 2021

    Good bankers that are English speakers with good technical skills would prefer to move to EU or work for EU banks because of the Inside IR35 fiasco.

  • en
    endorendil
    6 October 2021

    Nonsense. Paris and Milan, Zurich and Amsterdam all went through the same covid and the same market swings. None of them report that traders went home.
    There are direct issues from brexit for the financial sector that will get worse next year and for EU citizens in the UK. In addition, the UK has become a joke. The government has gone rogue and has lost the respect of its neighbours and allies. It's just not a good place to work or live, of you have other options.

  • An
    Antonio Estefan
    6 October 2021

    As an EU citizen I confirm that the key reason for any EU citizen I know that left London is because of lack of opportunities and career progression because the British government failed to secure a good post-Brexit deal for financial services with the EU. In my view this was because successive British governments post-2016 (and probably post-2008) did not have a clear strategy on how to "level up" Britain as a whole (and not just the City of London).

    Giving also a more personal viewpoint, I came to London because it was at the time (back in early 00s) EU's financial centre. Put it another way, because since the mid-1990s jobs in my country were moving to London because the EU. Given that this is no longer the case it is only natural if you are an EU citizen and your role relocates in an EU country or find a role with equivalent pay to leave (especially if you come from a large European nation like France, Germany, Spain or Italy).

    I have also seen some post (assuming from an English person) which is a bit defensive "You don't like it here? Dover is that way." While everyone is entitled to their opinion, a "love it or leave it" mentality is not helpful in attracting foreign investment or non-local talent (both of which are required for international financial centres (Singapore is a good example as it is a place that has a connection with the United Kingdom as until the mid-1960s it was a British colony and managed to transform itself because of foreign investment and an influx of foreign workers).

    In my view pretty much like the post WWII period where the United Kingdown lost its empire gradually over 20 years, I think the same will happen to Britain's place in the world economically, geopolitically and diplomatically over the next 10 years not because of pro-Brexit governments per se but because there is a lack of clear vision for the future and the EU citizens have the luxury to "vote" on this with their feet while British citizens have to face the consequences of their decisions.

  • Pe
    Peter Madjid
    5 October 2021

    When it comes to Brexit, Britain is in denial in an incredible way. The country is sinking fast, due to the way Boris Johnson decided not to broker a proper deal with Europe on any topic. Still,whenever some problem emerges, the mantra is: Brexit is not the cause.
    Isn't it time to open your eyes?

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