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Despite Brexit, recruiter Hays says London banks hiring replacements

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Global banks have continued to hire replacements for vacant London jobs, the financial services recruiter told Reuters, despite concerns over Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

[BENGALURU] Global banks have continued to hire replacements for vacant London jobs, the financial services recruiter told Reuters, despite concerns over Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

Many financial companies have said they will move some British jobs to continental Europe to keep serving clients in the single market. However Hays said it had not received requests to make large-scale hires in Europe.

"The reality on the ground is there has been little or no movement at all so far," finance director Paul Venables said.

"Most of the clients we deal with have the headcount they want for the market and their views for the next couple of years. The positive in banking in London is that leavers are being replaced," he added.

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Rival PageGroup said on Tuesday that financial companies were talking about moving only very small teams to the continent.

On Wednesday, smaller group Robert Walters said banks continued to hire significant numbers of people in London and that it had yet to see jobs move to Europe.

Hays said hiring for banking in Britain, which accounts for 8 per cent of the group's UK net fee, had been flat since November.

Mr Venables forecast that the UK banking market would remain"stable and subdued" with European banking not seeing any pickup for "a period of time".

Asked whether Hays had been given any future visibility by the banks around potential size of jobs, Mr Venables said: "I don't think you're right in saying huge mandates. If you looked across all of the statements that have been made, it is still around the edges."

Beyond the banking sector, Hays said hiring by private firms in the UK and Ireland, which accounts for a quarter of its gross profit, had seen modest improvements and forecast similar hiring trends for the remaining year.

Net fees from its UK and Ireland operations fell 5 per cent year-on-year at constant currencies for its fourth quarter which ended June 30, but group net fees climbed 7 due to an uptick in Europe and Asia Pacific.

Hays, which operates in 33 markets, estimated a marginal beat to full-year operating expectations of £209.5 million (S$372.782 million), and Mr Venables said the group would invest in growing European markets such as Germany, France and Poland.

Shares is Hays were up 0.4 per cent at 168.2 pence at 1108 GMT, in-line with the Stoxx Europe 600 Price Index.

REUTERS

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