Around the World: Ireland faces accountant shortage; Middle East bank retreat

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Financial services firms in Ireland are facing a SHORTAGE of accountants

It's not often in the current climate that there's a shortage of a particular skill-set in Ireland, but financial services firms are struggling to recruit sufficient numbers of accountants. In some ways you could say they only have themselves to blame - hundreds of newly qualified accountants were made redundant from Big Four firms in Ireland in 2009.


Worrying signs that international investment banks are retreating from the Middle East

Crédit Agricole's decision to move its MENA M&A team from Dubai to Paris is indicative of an increasing reluctance of international investment banks to maintain a significant presence in the region. Last week, the French bank revealed that it was closing its regional M&A division - a move that would affect five or six people - and taking it back to its Paris office.


How quantitative easing will feed your bonus - or not

It's happening again. The Bank of England is re-engaging in quantitative easing. 75bn is being injected, starting next week. Analysts at Citigroup are predicting the final injection could be closer to 500bn. The last time big QE happened in the UK was around two years ago. Starting in March 2009 and ending in early 2010, the Bank of England bought 200bn of gilts.


This may come as a surprise, but there are plenty of finance professionals in Asia who want to leave their own countries

The grass is perennially greener on the other side. We constantly hear of Western professionals wanting "in" on Asia - recruitment firm Robert Half for instance, has seen a 500 percent increase in CVs from finance, banking and accounting candidates in Europe and the U.S. seeking work in Asia over the last 12 months. However, it seems Asia's professionals are just as keen to venture abroad. [Hong Kong]

Executive pay might be increasing at AIB, but salaries are still generally on the decline

The fact that AIB appears to be on the cusp of succeeding in its quest to pay its new chief executive more than €500k (possibly a €1m package) is likely to spur a new wave of public anger in Ireland over banker remuneration. However, it's worth noting how much rank-and-file staff at the bank have felt the pinch in the last few years.


Expat British bankers could be exposed to full UK taxes - based on visits to the UK this year

As the British government seeks ways of supplementing its tax take, the British residency test is changing. As we've noted before, it's becoming a lot more punitive and many more people are going to find they've become British residents for taxation purposes in future. If you're a British citizen who's working in Dubai, Hong Kong or Singapore because you want to pay less tax, this is going to become a big issue. [Gulf]

Goldman Sachs is cutting staff in U.S. and Europe, but growing in Africa

So far it is just a rumor, but one that is likely to be confirmed on October 18th when Goldman Sachs will release its third quarter results. The bank could announce a further 700 to 2,000 job cuts on top of the 1,000 layoffs already announced two months ago, in a bid to cut costs by $1.45bn, or 5 percent of total expenses, in the light of deteriorating market conditions.

[South Africa]

Who hired in the Middle East in September?

Sentiment around financial services recruitment in the Middle East may be currently downbeat, but the number of hires during September suggests that the post-summer hiring spree is still in action. Ajman Bank, the UAE-based Islamic institution, has named Tala Soubra as its new chief risk officer. Baker Botts, the law firm, has recruited Vanessa Abernethy for its capital markets team based in Dubai. [Gulf]

As "living wills" loom, banks are recruiting technologists on rates of up to 1,200 a day

Banks may be bemoaning the ongoing regulatory challenges they face, but IT professionals in the City have reason to be thankful. The latest problem large institutions are battling with are the technical issues related to writing a "living will," and they're starting to bring in contractors to help them deal with them, after proposing the idea for "recovery and resolution plans" for large institutions in the even of a crisis late.


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