UK banks 'employment levels similar to pre-recession'

23 March 2011

Employment in the UK's banks is climbing to levels similar to those seen prior to the recession, it has been found.

Bloomberg reports that the Royal Bank of Scotland Group - which received the biggest bank bailout in the world - now has more workers in its securities unit than it had four years ago.

Moreover, Goldman Sachs Group - which filed for the largest bankruptcy in history and helped catalyze the economic downturn - currently employs nearly as many individuals in London as it did in 2007.

The news provider added that under the guidance of Robert Diamond in 2010, Barclays Capital took on 1,800 new members of staff.

Despite Britain struggling to get back to its feet following the most serious economic contraction since the 1930s, investment banks in Europe's financial capital are continuing to add jobs across the city, the agency noted.

It claimed chancellor George Osborne cannot afford to have these large institutions - such as HSBC Holdings and Barclays Plc - leaving the metropolis.

Treasury minister Mark Hoban said: "We want London to remain a global financial centre, and one that will continue to flourish and grow because of the employment it brings."

He added: "We want to see more employment in the UK, not less and I think a blooming financial services sector can help deliver that."

The government noted that the industry paid the most corporation tax in 2010 and also accounted for ten per cent of the nation's economic output - marking a rise on the 7.7 per cent recoded a year earlier.

Bank of England deputy governor Charles Bean recently told the Times that there is a real danger that the economic recovery in the UK could take longer than initially hoped.

He added the nation is currently in a hazardous period with risks coming from multiple directions.

By Asim Shah

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