The City enjoyed a hiring boom last year, with the most jobs created in the final quarter of the year since 2010.
In total 33,063 new roles were created in the City last year, according to the recruiter Astbury Marsden, an increase of 18 per cent compared with a year earlier. 7,534 of those were created in the last quarter of the year – 22 per cent more than the same period a year earlier and the highest number recorded in the fourth quarter in four years.
Adam Jackson, director at Astbury Marsden, said: “The City jobs market gathered strong momentum in 2014, with recruitment activity finally catching up with the recovery seen over the last few years in the wider UK jobs market.
“Better conditions in the City over the last year have enabled firms to spend more time thinking about modest growth, though what we are seeing is far from a return to the aggressive hiring seen before the financial crisis.”
Many of the roles created were in areas such as compliance and IT. Mr Jackson said: “The investment banks are still very sharply focused on improving efficiency as they continue to implement new regulatory capital requirements and look at preparation for the next major wave of regulation.”
Despite the stellar end to the year, the pace of hiring in the financial sector may soon slow. Chris White, head of UK equities at Premier Asset Management, said financial markets are set for a “choppy” few months, which could dampen enthusiasm for expansion.
Mr White said: “In terms of politics, we have a UK election to consider in May and with the political environment so volatile, it is very difficult to predict the result. Whilst many in the City may feel more comfortable with a Conservative government majority or Conservative-led coalition, this brings a referendum on Europe even closer, which has the potential to blow a hurricane through financial markets.”
He added that with Europe struggling to grow, continued economic growth for the UK “cannot be taken for granted”.
Panmure Gordon’s David Buik also warned of uncertainties ahead, which could derail hiring plans.
He highlighted fears over eurozone deflation, the possible exit of Greece from the euro, falling oil prices and Russian sanctions as all contributing to a growing unease in the City.