Asset 2

Banking and FS - Market Update

07 November 2019 by Mason Alexander

​Banking and FS – Market Update


Q3 in the Banking and Financial Services (FS) world has been somewhat turbulent from a hiring perspective. Namely, we are seeing ongoing uncertainty from Brexit coupled with a fairly consistent cost cutting agenda from several of the large banks.

With Brexit being pushed out to 31st January 2020, more and more firms are monitoring their hiring strategies and budgets very closely.
As a result of this, we are partnering more closely than ever with our clients from a strategic perspective. We are producing more insight reports and research in order to assist our clients with their internal issues and market challenges. This information and assistance allow them to prepare for Q4 and 2020.

Responsible Spending Culture

Aside from Brexit, there have been other variables at play such as macro-economic factors, negative rates and the prevalence of companies fostering an emphasis on a culture of responsible spending.

One of our key clients explained that the slowdown in hiring within the FS sector is as a result of the pressure on organisations to monitor how they are spending. And this is all company costs – and naturally, staffing comes into play here. Firms are using “responsible spending” strategies as opposed to enforcing harsher cost cutting strategies – this has been a theme amongst a number of financial institutions.


Hiring Trends

We are seeing less activity around more ‘generic’ banking roles but not for critical, key hires – this has remained steady. We are partnering closely with our clients to ensure that any key hires they take on are the exact fit from a skills and cultural standpoint. We view this as particularly pertinent during times of uncertainty and volatility within the industry.

Key strategic senior hires such as control function positions within banks are still being actively searched. Roles where there are strict regulatory requirements have seen some insulation from adverse market conditions as banks are struggling to find strong talent across finance, risk, compliance and technology.


Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

There are still interesting businesses looking at Dublin as an option – still consistently fintech and asset management firms. Nevertheless, Brexit has made a huge impact on their decision making. Until there is clarity on Brexit, organisations will struggle to make critical decisions and moves on their projected hiring strategies and plans.

The media still reports, namely on Fintech firms, establishing footings in Ireland but it seems there is a general hold on fire until Brexit has clarity. Should these reports come to fruition, Fintech firms will make a significant impact on the number of new roles in Dublin into 2020 and 2021.


Areas of Growth

Within compliance, anti-money laundering (AML) and financial crime have been areas of growth within banking and FS, due to increased pressure on companies from regulators. There has been a trend of stricter controls in their financial crime function as a result of increased pressure from the ECB and CBI. These measures have been put in place to ensure banking institutions are compliant with new AML directives.


Other news

The senior executive accountability regime (SEAR) will most likely be introduced in the coming year by the CBI and affects every banking institution in Ireland.
This initiative brings new regulations and increased accountability for people in control functions at a senior level in a bank. This will bring a new interesting dynamic to individuals both in, and on track for executive level roles.


Eoin Connolly

Director, Banking and Financial Services
Mason Alexander