Banks filling London staffing gaps despite Brexit concerns

Recruiter Hays said banks had begun moving staff from London to Europe, but numbers remained relatively small. (Reuters)
Updated 12 October 2017
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Banks filling London staffing gaps despite Brexit concerns

BENGALURU: Global banks are still filling job vacancies in London despite concerns that Brexit could threaten the city’s status as a major financial center, recruiter Hays said on Thursday.
Although many financial companies have plans to transfer some jobs to continental Europe to keep serving clients in the single market once Britain leaves the EU, Hays said they were holding off on pulling the trigger.
“The banks have got their contingency plans in place, but they’re waiting to see if they can get any steer at all on the eventual deal that will be done,” Finance Director Paul Venables told Reuters.
“The pleasing part is that leavers (in London) are being replaced. This is encouraging for the future of the financial services industry in London. It will still be a very large business when we get through the Brexit part,” he added.
Venables said London banks were replacing departing staff in most roles, including in IT and compliance.
Smaller rival Robert Walters said on Tuesday that risk, regulatory, audit and cybersecurity were the strongest job functions in finance at the moment.
Hays said banks had begun moving staff from Britain to Europe, but numbers remained relatively small.
It had not received requests for large-scale financial hiring in Europe, mirroring comments from PageGroup and Robert Walters earlier this week.
Hays said net fees from its UK and Ireland operations rose 1 percent in the three months ended September 30 on the same period last year, showing an improvement against a 5 percent fall in the preceding quarter.
Hays said its British private sector business continued to experience modest signs of improvement, and Venables forecast that growth in the UK over the next few quarters would remain in line with the first quarter.
“There’s still very tight cost control across most companies in the UK, but some of the investments that were put on hold a year ago, a small proportion of those are now being released,” he said.
The group, which gets about three quarters of its business from outside the UK, also noted growth across its other regions, pushing quarterly group net fees up 10 percent, ahead of consensus of a 8.5 percent rise.
Whilst Hays’ quarterly performance lagged Robert Walters which has broken ahead of the pack due to growth in its outsourcing business, it was broadly in line with the 8.8 percent growth reported by PageGroup on Wednesday. PageGroup noted a sharper decline in its British business from the previous quarter.
“We believe, investors are likely to focus on the marginal growth in UK, which will come as a relief for the market, following yesterday’s weaker than expected UK figures from PageGroup,” Panmure Gordon analyst Adrian Kearsey wrote.


Pompeo says China is engaging in ‘predatory economics 101’

Would China have allowed America to do to it what China has done to America asked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (AP)
Updated 8 min 50 sec ago
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Pompeo says China is engaging in ‘predatory economics 101’

  • He said China’s recent claims of “openness and globalization” are “a joke.”

DETROIT: China is engaging in “predatory economics 101” and an “unprecedented level of larceny” of intellectual property, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a business audience Monday.
Pompeo made the remarks at the Detroit Economic Club as global markets reacted to trade tensions between the US and China. Both nations started putting trade tariffs in motion that are set to take effect July 6.
He said China’s recent claims of “openness and globalization” are “a joke.” He added that China is a “predatory economic government” that is “long overdue in being tackled,” matters that include IP theft and Chinese steel and aluminum flooding the US market.
“Everyone knows ... China is the main perpetrator,” he said. “It’s an unprecedented level of larceny.”
“Just ask yourself: Would China have allowed America to do to it what China has done to America?” he said later. “This is predatory economics 101.”
The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Pompeo raised the trade issue directly with China last week, when he met in Beijing with President Xi Jinping and others.
“I reminded him that’s not fair competition,” Pompeo said.
President Donald Trump has announced a 25 percent tariff on up to $50 billion in Chinese imports. China is retaliating by raising import duties on $34 billion worth of American goods, including soybeans, electric cars and whiskey. Trump also has slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and European allies.
Wall Street has viewed the escalating trade tensions with wariness, fearful they could strangle the economic growth achieved during Trump’s watch. Gary Cohn, Trump’s former top economic adviser, said last week that a “tariff battle” could result in price inflation and consumer debt — “historic ingredients for an economic slowdown.”
Pompeo on Monday described US actions as “economic diplomacy,” which, when done right, strengthens national security and international alliances, he added.
“We use American power, economic might and influence as a tool of economic policy,” he said. “We do our best to call out unfair economic behaviors as well.”