Banking and financial services contractors working through umbrella companies and limited companies alike have been through tough times over the last few months and the latest announcement from RBS of another job-axing round can hardly have cheered them. However, according to an industry expert, the news may not be as bad as it sounds.

RBS will shed 3,500 jobs from its 19,000-strong investment banking wing, bringing the total number of jobs axed by the bank since 2008 to 35,000. All trading in shares and all takeover advice to other companies will now cease. Investment banking has taken a double hit recently, with rigorous new rules on capital requirements and the continued financial crisis converging to squeeze the sector until the pips squeak, to resuscitate a phrase from the 1970s.

However, Steve Yendell, the Executive Director of the City recruitment agency Selby Jennings, maintains that the RBS “adjustment” was not unexpected and was actually less severe than many had supposed. Adventurous opportunity-seekers may wish to consider relocation to more buoyant financial markets, such as those in Asia and Latin America, Mr Yendell added, although those who wish to remain in London and Europe will undoubtedly face more of a challenge.

However, highly skilled banking workers, including PAYE umbrella contractors, are likely to find it relatively easy to find new opportunities. In addition, growth in non-financial banking organisations and in other banks is expected to be strong enough to absorb the latest casualties. This is one storm cloud that may just have a silver lining.

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