PAY IN finance and banking is bouncing back strongly this year, according to recruiter Robert Half's annual salary guide. After several years of sacking staff and holding back pay to bring down costs and reform businesses, banks are increasingly prepared to pay more for the right talent in the right areas, the report has found. Staff supporting trading, dealmaking and analysis are also seeing salaries rise as the recovery takes hold and business activity rises - the study found 86 per cent of finance firms are confident in the UK's growth prospects. The international recovery is also important in pushing up pay, with 95 per cent of firms worried about losing talent to rivals, and regulations are also hurting businesses - 93 per cent fear the EU bonus cap will drive workers away overseas. And areas like compliance and risk are seeing pay rise by as much as nine per cent as banks fight for the right staff to keep up with the tide of regulations. "Companies say that anti-money laundering requirements, disclosure or reporting requirements and privacy requirements are still the three areas having the biggest effect on them," the salary guide said. "Nearly a quarter say the finance function is taking the lead on managing regulatory change, compared with nearly a fifth passing that responsibility to the risk department and 17 per cent to compliance." Technology and systems staff are also in line for pay rises. Robert Half found increased demand from banks and finance firms for better data mining and analytics, as well as greater demand for tougher security and compliance systems. Investment banks and high-performing hedge funds will be offering more lucrative bonus offerings, followed by brokerage firms that will also be competitive" for IT staff, the report forecast.
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