The number of financial services contractors earning in excess of £750 a day has almost doubled during the past 12 months, according to new research by SJD Accountancy.

The percentage of flexible workers earning premium rates has soared from 6.3% to 11.6% following an increase in demand for contract and niche skill sets, with compliance, regulation and financial reporting specialists among those benefiting the most.

SJD also noted that the majority of financial specialists in demand are accountants, which is a trend that has been strengthened by the new UKGAAP financial report standard. Banks are also hiring accountancy contractors to ensure compliance with the recent arrival of the IFRS 9 accounting standard.

Demand appears to be increasing across the board for contractors in financial services, with the latest official figures showing that the number out of work has dropped since the second quarter of 2014. 94.6% are now in work and contract lengths are increasing.

SJD chief executive officer Simon Curry said: “Demand for contractors in banking and finance has surged in response to continuing job cuts and spikes in workloads in niche areas. It is often said that contractors are the first into and the first out of a recession.”

He added: “The increase in the average contract length is a positive indicator that hirers are becoming more confident about their medium-term requirement for skills.”

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