• Joblessness among financial services contractors at its lowest point since end of recession
  • Three-quarters of contractors consciously chose contracting – the highest proportion since the crisis

Nearly two-thirds (63.1%) of contractors working in the financial services sector are now earning £500 per day or more as demand for contract skills in financial institutions, challenger banks and start-ups strengthens, according to research by SJD Accountancy, the UK’s leading contractor services provider. Just over half (52.2%) of financial services contractors were earning £500 per day or more this time last year.

SJD Accountancy says many financial institutions are continuing to reduce permanent headcounts, which is creating opportunities for contractors with in-demand skills. The rapid growth of the financial technology sector is also providing opportunities for contractors who might otherwise have worked for large financial institutions.

According to the research by SJD Accountancy, many financial institutions are ramping up demand for contractors as they remain reluctant to create permanent roles. The research shows that there is high demand for contractors with accountancy and finance skills but banks and other financial institutions are also looking for compliance, financial reporting and risk management specialists.

SJD Accountancy points out that many of the in demand specialists in financial institutions are accountants. For example, the new UKGAAP financial reporting standard, which came into effect in January 2015, has created strong demand for accountants specialising in derivatives. Banks are also bringing in accountancy skills on a contract basis to ensure compliance with the new IFRS 9 accounting standard.

The full results of the research, along with historic data, can be found here:

Simon Curry, Chief Executive Officer of SJD Accountancy, comments: “As financial institutions continue to restructure and manage headcounts, spikes in workload and demand for niche skills are creating opportunities for contractors. Challenger banks and start-ups in the financial technology sector are also creating opportunities as are asset managers looking to bolster their finance teams.”

“Rather than being a route to a permanent job, contracting is increasingly a lifestyle choice for finance professionals. Over three quarters of contractors consciously chose this lifestyle – the highest level since the end of the recession. With bonuses having been savaged during the crisis, and employment benefits steadily eroded, contracting is seen as inherently less risky”.

Proportion of financial services contractors earning £500 per day or more, 2014-15


The research from SJD Accountancy also shows that joblessness among contractors in the financial services sector is at its lowest since the financial crisis. Just 5.6% of contractors are currently out of contract, compared to 6.7% a year ago.

Curry concludes: “With the number of contractors out of work at its lowest level since the recession, end users are having to compete to secure the skills they need, which is driving up rates. Greater numbers of contractors are receiving multiple offers, and the average contract length is increasing as end users seek to keep contractors off the market rather than risk losing skills to competitors.”

Related Articles