Banks hiring, not firing – at least for now

Hopes that a City jobs bloodbath could be averted arrive today in the form of figures from the leading headhunter Astbury Marsden.

The recruiter says that 2,985 new jobs were created in the Square Mile in July, an improvement on recent months. That's still down by 39 per cent on the same month a year ago, when there were 4,880 jobs going in the financial district. But it suggests that banks are looking to hire at least as many as they fire.

Trading houses and investment banks across town have been downsizing, with many brokers admitting that they fear for their jobs.

Mark Cameron, chief operating officer at Astbury Marsden, cautions against too much optimism."Although there has been some growth over the last month, the appetite to hire in the City remains pretty thin," he said.