Scandals Fueling Job Market, But Many Hires Will be Temporary

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If you want a job in finance today, follow the blood trail. The most aggressive hiring is happening in business units charged with cleaning up other people’s mistakes, or making sure they don’t happen again.

Look at banks in the U.K., which created at least 20,000 new jobs last year to deal with claims over mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) and interest rate swaps, according to a new report from recruitment firm Manpower. The job gains generated by the scandals drove financial services to be the best performing sector in the study, despite the fact that front office staffers are getting let go each day.

“These scandals have spawned a new industry to deal with the fallout,” said ManpowerGroup U.K. Managing Director Mark Cahill.

The job gains are expected to continue through 2013, with firms like Barclays and Lloyds putting aside millions to deal with PPI claims, according to Cahill.

Recent scandals have also inspired hiring in risk and compliance on both sides of the pond as firms attempt to mitigate against future black eyes. Five of the top six most talent-starved positions are in risk and compliance, according to a recent study of our database. And the pay is pretty good. A senior compliance professional working in an investment bank in New York can expect to make between $250,000 and $525,000.

Jobs in compliance and risk are likely much safer than those tasked with handling the immediate fallout of the scandals themselves. They’re real jobs, but they likely aren’t sustainable. The mortgage industry is a great example. Large banks like J.P. Morgan have begun eliminating jobs that helped manage the fallout of the mortgage crisis.

Give it a few years; we’ll see a similar pattern follow more recent scandals.

Bold and Unrelenting (LA Times)

Mary Jo White, President Obama’s nominee for the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, will take a tough stance on Wall Street if confirmed, telling senators that she will be “bold and unrelenting.” Wrongdoers “will be aggressively and successfully called to account by the SEC,” she said.

They’re Still Commodities (Bloomberg)

Former Citigroup oil trader Andrew Hall, who made headlines for receiving $100 million in compensation the same year Citigroup received a federal bailout, is putting his money to work in Vermont. Hall bought a farm that sells handmade lavender soap and grass- fed Angus beef.

Graduate Interview Questions (eFinancialCareers)

You’re interviewing for a student job in a bank. Which questions will you be asked and how can you prepare? Here’s a sampling.

Investment Banks Still Hiring (eFinancialCareers)

Five investment banks are hiring in the Middle East. Some of the names might surprise you.

Board Assembled (Financial News)

Chicago-based CME Group’s new European Exchange, set to go live in the second quarter of 2013, has made a host of board appointments, including Mark Spanbroek, the former European head of business development at Getco, and Hans-Bernd Menzel, former chief executive of the European Energy Exchange.

Time to Get an MBA (U.S. News)

More than 92% of 2012 MBA graduates landed jobs within three months of graduating, up from 86% the previous year. Nearly 80% said their starting salary met or exceeded their expectations.

Buzz Around the Office

Oops (MarketWatch)

If you filed your tax returns with H&R Block, you may have to wait as long as six weeks for your refund. The tax preparer left a mandatory field blank on 600,000 returns.

List of the Day: Sink Or Swim

With leaner workforces, many firms simply don’t have the manpower to offer handholding during training. If you’re tossed into this sink-or-swim style of training, do this.

  1. Make friends quickly.
  2. Don’t sit back and struggle. Ask questions.
  3. Dive in the deep end. You’ll learn faster.

(Source: The Daily Muse)

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