City Professionals Want to Change Employers: Survey

More than half of professionals in the City of London are looking to move jobs this year, according to a new survey from eFinancialCareers. Meanwhile, another report says that high earning finance professionals are coming under increased pressure over their pay.

Trader at London Stock Exchange, England.
Trader at London Stock Exchange, England.

Just 12 percent of City professionals are committed to staying with their current company, with 52 percent saying they will definitely leave and 36 percent saying they are considering jumping ship, the survey results said.

A third of those surveyed by eFinancialCareers said they were considering working overseas, with Hong Kong and Singapore the most popular destinations.

However, a majority still said they would prefer to stay in Britain.

Competition for talent seems to be heating up too, as 46 percent of those surveyed said they received more calls from recruiters this year, according to the eFinancialCareers survey of 444 banking professionals that took place between 11-19 April 2011.

A quarter of the City employees surveyed said their company had offered them sweeteners, such as a pay rise and higher bonuses, to keep them in their jobs.

The finance and business sectors account for the lion’s share of the top 0.1 percent of earners in the UK, according to an interim report by the High Pay Commission.

They make up 30 and 38 percent of the top 0.1 percent of the income distribution scale, respectively.

FTSE 100 chief executives are also signaled out for their pay levels which topped the scale at an average of 4.2 million pounds ($6.8 million) in 2009/10.

The non-partisan Commission was set up in November 2010 by Compass, a left-leaning political pressure group, amid concerns that the growing pay differential between the highest earners and the national average could worsen social inequality.

The Commission states that while a top executive is currently paid 145 times the average wage this will increase significantly to 214 times by 2020, with the average earnings for a CEO reaching 8 million pounds.

Meanwhile, the average wage, according to the Commission, continues to stagnate.

It argues that the exponential increase in pay at the top of the labor market is a form of market failure arguing that the growth of pay in the finance sector in the City of London creates London-centrism and could impact on regional economic disparity.

“Recent figures show take-home pay fell for the first time in 30 years in 2010 by contrast boardroom remuneration appears immune from financial constraints continuing a so-called ‘arms race’," Deborah Hargreaves, chair of the HPC, said.

"We need to ask whether the dramatic growth in pay at the top of our companies means we are paying more and getting less,” Hargreaves added.

The report singled out banks for particular scrutiny, saying that in the banking sector the highest earners are often below board level, although executives are also well rewarded.

While there was a dip in executive pay during the financial crisis it has begun to rise again, with CEOs in the blue chip index seeing a rise of 3.1 percent in their salaries.

The HPC will issue a final report in November with detailed policy proposals, which will include the role of greater transparency, fairness, accountability, stakeholder involvement and corporate governance reforms, as well as the role played by the wider regulatory framework and pay at the top.