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Capital Markets, Financial

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Categorized | Banks

Banks back London with graduate hiring spree

Posted on November 27, 2016

Deutsche Bank doubled the number of graduates it hired for its London technology teams this year in the most striking example of banks’ ploughing ahead with recruitment plans despite the uncertainty caused by Brexit.

A recent report by Oliver Wyman said the UK’s decision to quit the EU threatens as many as 71,000 City jobs, since the UK could lose access to the single market that allows companies to use London as a hub to sell across the EU.

But recruiters and bankers said that Brexit had “no impact” on banks’ hiring for the 2016/2017 season and that banks continued to hire strongly in several areas.

Deutsche Bank was the standout, doubling its technology hires, according to industry sources. As well as the fall out from Brexit, Deutsche has spent much of the year battling homegrown crises about its capital adequacy, strategic direction and looming fines.

At Barclays, group head of graduate resourcing and development Jane Clarke said hiring appetite is “as strong as ever” and the numbers for this year would be in line with the 2015/16 season. Barclays is also hiring more for technology, but the increase is not as dramatic as at Deutsche.

Citi has hired almost all of its 450 London graduate vacancies, the same number of spots as it filled for 2015/2016, while JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs have continued to hire at the usual rate, according to people familiar with the situation.

“Despite all the uncertainty, banks are continuing to hire graduates,” said Raphael Mokades, of Rare Recruitment, which works with the big banks, adding that banks are hosting “tech talks”, open houses and webinars all specifically about the role technology plays in a bank.


London graduate vacancies at Citi, almost all of which it has filled

Deutsche Bank’s head of graduate recruitment Faye Woodhead said its technology graduates work on everything from programming roles to software engineering to the bank’s innovation lab. “We see [graduates] as an integral part of the future workforce, as a group that brings fresh ideas into the organisation,” said Ms Woodhead.

She declined to specify the number of technology graduates hired this year, but said the London hiring mirrored trends at Deutsche Bank globally. Overall, Deutsche’s global graduate hiring for this year would come in at around 750, said a person familiar with the matter, about the same as in 2015.

“We haven’t seen a question in the minds of businesses as to whether graduate recruitment should be impacted [by Brexit],” said Ms Woodhead. “We have a three-year plan.”

Andrew Breach, director of financial services at recruitment company New Street, said it made sense to “hire and train the grads in London and New York, in terms of economy of scale”.

“Ultimately, the investment banks still want London to be their main platform from which to operate in Europe but, if the ‘divorce’ negotiations go badly it is still relatively easy to relocate individuals from London to Frankfurt/Paris/Luxembourg/Dublin if they have to,” he added.

Five months on from the Brexit vote, banks say there are still too many uncertainties for them to decide which of their operations they need to move out of London, and where they should move to. Most have narrowed their options down to a shortlist, which usually includes Frankfurt, Paris and Dublin, while keeping as much as they can in London.