City recruitment still ‘moribund’ says top recruiter Robert Walters

Capital market will never return to pre-credit crunch levels, says expert

One of the City’s top recruiters has warned that the financial-services sector remains “pretty moribund” despite a jobs boom elsewhere in the UK, and is planning on the basis that the capital market will never return to pre-credit crunch levels.

Robert Walters reported net fee income surged 21 per cent to £17m during the three months to June in a positive sign for the wider economy. Growth was broadly based across the regions and in “pretty much every sector”, with the exception of financial services.

“It has changed in the past four months – it’s got better,” said Robert Walters, the chief executive of the business that bears his name. “There’s more movement, more activity, more jobs, more candidates prepared to move.”

Financial services is tough because “movement has been virtually zero in the past five years,” he said.

However, Mr Walters said previous recessions in 1991 and 2001 showed recovery in the City often takes many years. “People in those institutions have been scared to move jobs,” he added. “We don’t need new jobs. We need people to move jobs.”

Mr Walters said the recovery in the rest of the jobs market has been lagging the wider economy. “Everyone thinks recruitment firms are frontrunners and indicators, but we’re not. Confidence has to return first.”

Revenues also rose for the seventh successive quarter outside the UK.