Finance services job levels hold steady

The number of financial and professional services jobs has held steady over the last five years although a Brexit ‘no deal’ could result in job losses, according to analysis from UHY Hacker Young

The firm’s research shows the number of financial and professional services jobs rose slightly over the last five years to two million in 2017, up from 1.9m in 2013.

It points out that the nature of many more junior financial and professional services roles and the sectors’ staff costs to income ratio makes these two sectors particularly attractive for replacing of jobs through automation and the use of artificial intelligence (AI), but that the anticipated threat from new technologies and big data is not having an impact so far on staffing levels.

An increasing number of organisations are trialling the use of robotic process automation (RPA) to help automate routine & repetitive work, and many financial services firms are using intelligent software to remove sales staff when selling products online. 

Scott McCullough, partner at UHY Hacker Young, said: ‘We are not yet at the point where robots take jobs from humans in financial services without more new “complex” roles for humans being created elsewhere within those same employers - but we are getting closer to that tipping point.

‘Those jobs least at risk of being replaced by robots are likely to be those that require face-to-face negotiation and rapport with customers and clients.’

UHY Hacker Young said its research suggests job losses in the financial and professional services industry could increases if there is continued uncertainty over the final Brexit deal.

McCullough said: ‘There were fears that banks and other institutions might uproot to Frankfurt and Paris immediately after the Brexit vote. So far these actions have not impacted overall employment in the sector but Brexit could still have an impact further down the line, particularly if there is there is a “no deal” scenario.’

Report by Pat Sweet

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