A new global study of remuneration trends among financial services companies by specialist recruitment consultancy Robert Half has revealed that the market for highly-skilled finance professionals in the UK, including Umbrella Company Employees and other finance freelancers in the country’s professional contracting community, has tightened significantly. Despite many of the UK companies polled continuing to experience economic challenges, CFOs intending to raise base pay rates for staff plan to do so by 6.1% on average, comfortably outstripping the inflation rate by almost fourfold.

While this heralds a remarkable turnaround for the financial services sector in the UK, the country is still behind several European and global cities. At the top of the leaderboard for remuneration packages is China, where finance leaders are expecting to increase pay by an average of 13.6% ‒ over twice the UK rate.

Not far behind China is Hong Kong, where CFOs are planning an average increase of 11.4%. Brazilian CFOs are planning a rise of 10.8%. The UK does not compare too unfavourably to its European counterparts, trailing only slightly behind France’s 6.7% and Germany’s 6.6%.

In the UK, 42% of the CFOs polled said they will increase base pay levels and 26% said they would increase bonuses; 51% intend to maintain bonus offerings at current levels.

Robert Half UK’s senior managing director, Phil Sheridan, said that the job market for finance and accounting professionals had “tightened dramatically over the last couple of years”.  He added: “With organisations competing for a limited talent pool, finance professionals are in high demand, with many candidates receiving multiple offers.”

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