Will Brexit boost finance industry contractors?
Brexit has undoubtedly had an impact on confidence across UK recruiters, although initial fears that the decision to leave the EU would lead to chaos in the economy have turned out largely to be untrue.
Earlier this month, the government’s Brexit bill sailed through parliament, enjoying a healthy majority of 494 votes in favour to 122 against. This leaves prime minister Theresa May in a position where she can formally begin the Brexit process at the end of March, as she previously promised.
The news could lead to a new period of uncertainty among businesses, as they ponder how Britain’s exit from the union will affect them. The finance industry is no exception, and we’ve already explored the potential impact on compliance departments across the UK’s banks before.
While many employers may take a wait-and-see approach to dealing with staffing ahead of the government triggering Article 50, recent research has suggested that finance contractors could be about to benefit from Brexit.
Employers favouring finance contractors
The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) revealed that temporary and contract vacancies dipped two per cent year on year across the recruitment market following the EU Referendum result. However, demand for finance and accounting contractors jumped 16 per cent.
Finance and accounting also experienced a five per cent rise in permanent vacancies, suggesting employers weren’t simply taking on contract staff due to fears over Brexit’s impact.
“While market sentiment remains volatile, an increasing number of economic indicators suggest that the UK economy is largely unfazed by Brexit,” said Ann Swain, chief executive of APSCo.
“Growth in the professionals job market may not be strong, but the fact that vacancy numbers have stabilised year on year speaks volumes for the resilience of not only the recruitment sector but also the wider economy.”
Regulatory changes on the horizon
It’s not just the uncertainty of Brexit that may be encouraging employers to bring in contractors and other interim staff. The regulatory landscape will undergo significant upheavals in the near future, and the finance industry is at the centre of many of these changes.
MiFID II will be introduced in January 2018, which will bring substantial changes to the way a range of financial instruments are governed. Amendments to Basel III legislation are also on the agenda, with the alterations considered so extensive they’ve been dubbed Basel IV.
Many organisations, particularly smaller businesses that don’t have sufficient experience in their corporate governance departments, will be looking to contractors to help them prepare for these seismic shifts in regulations.
Preparing for the future
Ultimately, Brexit and upcoming regulatory enhancements in the finance industry are set to create a number of opportunities for contractors and other temporary workers who are skilled at change management.
The exact impact of the UK leaving the EU is yet to be determined, but staffing requirements can’t remain on hold indefinitely; employers will need to strengthen their departments to tackle today’s problems.
As such, contractors and other temporary finance professionals could provide the solution for many businesses hoping to tackle upcoming workloads or embark on regulatory projects.
Our Market Reports combine our review of the prevailing conditions in the corporate governance recruitment market together with the results of our latest employer survey.