PAYE umbrella contractors working in the financial services sector may draw some cheer from new research released by the specialist recruitment company Marks Sattin. Salaries amongst financial services professionals rose by 8 per cent during 2010 and are predicted to rise by 13.5 per cent this year, the figures suggest.

Dave Way, Managing Director of Marks Sattin, said that the recession had suppressed salary increases last year as employers sought to restore their margins. If similar trends continue into 2011, he explained, salaries may only rise by a similar amount (8.5 per cent) but there are signs of optimism amongst professionals in the sector that business will pick up. Mr Way added a cautionary note, however, and suggested that hopes for salary rises of 13.5 per cent be “over optimistic.”

Contractors used to working in temporary placements through their umbrella companies may be heartened by the study’s finding that pay rates for temporary staff in financial services remained higher than those for permanent staff and freelancers on long-term contracts.

The Marks Sattins study contrasts somewhat with new figures from Powerchex, which reveal that the two 4-day weekends in April resulted in a sharp decline in recruitment in financial services. Investment banking jobs declined by 30 per cent during the month and there was less recruitment activity in hedge funds and stockbroking. Even so, recruitment for investment banking countered the general trend by rising 19 per cent above the previous month. IT contracting, though, has undergone something of a recruitment bonanza, with 75 per cent more vacancies in the IT skills market compared to the same time in 2010. Companies seeking improved data security accounted for much of this growth.

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