Insights

Market Overviews

REGIONAL- NORTH WEST MARKET COMMENTARY, Q4 2017

• Article by BRUIN Financial

REGIONAL- NORTH WEST MARKET COMMENTARY, Q4 2017

MARKET OVERVIEW

Overall there remains a positive trend for the hiring levels within Accountancy, particularly in Scotland and the North West which has increased by 21% and 19% respectively YoY in October. This is similar to London’s performance and is likely to continue increasing into 2018, with Manchester leading the regions growth as the North West’s economic hub.

Due to BRUIN’s expansion as well as the increased need to facilitate demand for jobs around the North West and Scotland, the Manchester office opened at the beginning of Q4 and has since seen a consistently steady flow of candidates looking for both permanent and contract positions.

We have seen an increasing number of roles migrating to the North West because of the significantly lower cost of living than in the South. This is particularly attractive for new graduates looking for their first role. In addition, we are  continuing to see more firms investing in junior candidates and providing them with study support towards ACA/ACCA/CIMA Qualifications to ensure a steady pipeline for succession planning.

Throughout Q4, there has been increasing evidence of the effects Brexit is having,  both on client hiring practices as well as candidate job searches. We have noticed more candidates re-locating for the right role, both inside and outside of the United Kingdom. Similarly, a number of investment banks have started to relocate departments and roles overseas to remain within EU – as the uncertainty of Brexit begins to show. This has left some candidates facing the possibility of redundancy, driving their search for a new role before this takes place.

 

Role Profiles

Following on from Q3, there continues to be a strong demand for fully qualified, well-rounded product controllers within the investment banking sector. In particular, clients are looking for candidates with advanced product knowledge and experience working with Rates, FX, Vanilla, Exotics and Derivatives. Due to the skills shortage within the North West for candidates with this particular skill-set, resourcing has expanded overseas to EU countries such as Poland and Greece.

Candidates in these locations tend not to be Fully ACA/ACCA/CIMA  Qualified; however, they do have a strong educational background, preferring to take the Degree and Masters route, although still holding good experience and product knowledge.

There has also been high demand for Management Accountants, Business Analysts and auditors are looking to ensure their financial accounts and business operations are secure and adhere to FCA regulation in preparation for any further economic changes and challenges that might be faced in the next upcoming year.

 

Predictions

In 2018, we are likely to see a further increase in job flow rates in the North-West regions as Manchester grows and develops as the UK’s second largest financial hub. The city is due to grow faster than anywhere else in the UK over the next 3 years, so expect to see a rise in roles available with numerous Retail Banks, Investment Banks and Asset Management organisations.

Despite this, we are also likely to see the impacts of Brexit on Accounting and Finance roles as it is predicted that the North West economy is likely to be hit twice as hard as London in 2018 and about one third of jobs are at high risk of being taken over by automation/robotics. We can see the beginning stages of this as high street retail banks are closing more of their branches down and increasing investment digitally.