New salaries in London's financial services up 18%

LONDON (Reuters) - Workers who found new jobs in London's financial services sector during 2014 secured an average 18 per cent salary rise, reflecting increased demand for staff, data from recruiter Morgan McKinley showed on Monday.

Pay data is politically and economically sensitive as Britain heads towards a general election in May and the Bank of England considers when to start raising interest rates, unchanged at 0.5 per cent since March 2009.

The salary jump in the City far outstrips pay growth for British workers in general, which has only recently shown signs of picking up after lagging inflation for most of the period since the 2008 global financial crisis. Recruitment firm Hays said last week it expected wage growth of up to 3 percent for skilled workers this year.

Some 4,620 new jobs were created in London's financial services industry in December, according to the Morgan McKinley London Employment Monitor, up 13 per cent on the same period the year before, but down 37 per cent on the previous month.

December is traditionally a quiet month for recruitment.

Morgan McKinley's Operations Director Hakan Enver said he expected demand for new staff to continue to grow in 2015 despite uncertainties about Britain's economic prospects and the outcome of the general election in May.

Enver highlighted the demand for compliance staff as businesses respond to more onerous regulations. "While we continue to also see demand outstripping supply for skilled IT executives, regulatory demands and enhanced reporting needs are pushing compliance to the top of hiring agendas in the City," Enver said.

He expects that trend to continue in 2015.

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