The 2021 salary guide for financial services
Leading financial service recruitment consultancy, Idex Consulting, has just released its annual financial services salary guides. Using data and research from the last 12 months, the guides provide a comprehensive resource for the latest remuneration and recruitment trends affecting financial services across the UK.
The guides are free and available to download as PDFs from the Idex site, and they enable industry professionals the opportunity to benchmark salary against industry peers, gain valuable insight into the market to assist, plan business’ growth, and gauge the market value of employees.
There is no denying the challenges that 2020 brought to all industries, and financial services were not immune. Redundancies and market uncertainty led to a 4.8% increase in active candidates, whilst 29% less jobs were registered, as firms struggled to adapt to trading under the new concept of a lockdown.
We are seeing the results of this recruitment struggle as a number of roles have seen stagnation in salary, and a quarter of companies predict ongoing salary freezes through 2021.
In a recent survey, 60% of business owners have predicted that 2021 will see higher levels of sales and productivity, and just 15% predicted less. With the majority of firms now comfortable with the transition to working from home and digitised brokering, we are still seeing growth across many business lines.
Covid accelerated a move to flexible working environments, which has had a number of positive impacts including a better work life balance, cost savings, and increased efficiencies. The financial services Industry was certainly resilient to the forced transitions, due to the strength of the market and the adaptability of many firms.
However, it won’t be a surprise to hear that through 2020 salaries did not see the levels of growth that the industry has experienced over previous years, and the results illustrated in the 2021 guides certainly reflect this.
Among the challenges that the industry faces, winning new business is certainly a priority, with 58% of survey respondents saying that acquiring new business has been ‘significantly harder’ during the pandemic due to the majority of client calls now taking place remotely.
In a breakdown of departments and roles, we see a general picture of stagnation, with some surprising areas of growth. Firms are now focused on achieving results and objectives more than ever, meaning data analysis and project management roles are becoming more prominent as firms look for large scale efficiencies.
Admin roles within the employee benefits sector saw a healthy 9% increase, and associate consultant roles saw a 7% increase. Within risk and compliance, the growth was seen solely in compliance roles, with compliance monitoring officers and compliance managers seeing a 14% and 8% increase respectively. Wealth management remained generally level, with just financial planners seeing an increase of 9-10% depending on client base.
In response to the research, Matt Green, CEO of Idex, said, “I could never have predicted the challenges the entire country faced last year. After 20 years in recruitment, I thought I had seen it all, but it has never been more difficult for business to plan for the year ahead.
“There are so many unanswered questions about working practices, economic stability, vaccines, and even the ongoing complications of Brexit. What we can be certain of in 2021 is that we will see many entirely new challenges for employers and individuals, as inflation is expected to rise again to 1.2%, while salary increases will remain flat at 2.5%.
“That is not to say that there hasn’t been great accomplishments, as businesses have quickly adapted to these unprecedented changes. I’m sure that we will see even more resilience and adaptability through 2021.”