New figures from Astbury Marsden reveal that jobs and contracting opportunities for finance professionals continue to rise vigorously in the City, which last month saw a 46% year-on-year hike in hiring activity.

In October 2013, 2,330 new jobs and contracts were created; by October 2014, the total had risen to 3,400.

According to Astbury Marsden, hiring is being driven by new investment by banks in the “digital agenda”, which encompasses the need to meet new regulatory challenges, deliver cost savings and improve performance.

Umbrella Company employees with expertise in finance IT are amongst those finding themselves in especially acute demand.

Astbury Marsden director Adam Jackson said that over the last year City finance companies had radically revised their view of IT investment. Such investment is no longer seen as a cost, he said, but a “key to unlocking better long-term profitability for the sector.”

IT is very much back in vogue for investment, from the investment banks right through to the insurance sector, Mr Jackson explained, adding: “This next wave in the digitisation of banking sector processes is already having a profound impact on hiring activity at the large investment banks and this is set to continue well into 2015 and beyond.”

A major driver for renewed investment in IT hiring is regulatory change, which is forcing investment banks to proceed with wholesale restructuring – a process that will take several years to finalise.

Mr Jackson continued: “Major challenges include the ring-fencing of investment banking from retail banking, where final delivery is not until 2019 but which is already demanding substantial resources just for the planning stage.”

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