Tax recruitment in Financial Services

Tax recruitment in Financial Services

Market Overview

In the last year sentiment has stabilised in the Financial Services sector, curbing what had been a continual decline in optimism. Despite a turbulent 2016, businesses reported an increase in overall profitability at the start of 2017, the most significant improvement in over a year.

Correspondingly, Financial Services firms are investing more in their staff and looking to address the bottleneck of positions and headcount lost in the months after the Brexit vote.

This, combined with a sharp increase in IT spend and consistent investment in statutory legislation and regulation, appears to suggest that firms in the Banking and Financial Services sector are preparing to mobilise their large-scale change plans around MiFID II, Brexit and ring-fencing. With the public and regulatory spotlight continuingto shine on banks, they are continuing to assess their Tax Risk strategy across all disciplines - in particular Reputational Risk and Tax Transparency. Consequently, tax teams need professionals with a more generalist skillset; candidates capable of formulating framework and strategies surrounding OECD/BEPS and the upcoming Corporate Criminal Offence guidelines are in high demand. In addition to this, the rigorous speculation driven by the HMRC surrounding Indirect Taxes has forced banks to allocate those with strong compliance skillsets coupled with systems & processe expertise to this area. With new entrants challenging the entire retail and wholesale distribution chain, many of the more traditional banks and financial institutions are grappling with the need to respond to immediate regulatory demands without losing sight of the need to evolve and develop themselves. To retain a competitive advantage, investment in technologyremains a priority. There is a marked drive to diversify portfolios and improve efficiencies, meaning that investment in new products and services is high; both new and existing customers are enjoying the benefits.

It all spells an interesting time for the Financial Services sector – one where attracting and retaining top talent will be crucial to success.

Spotlight on Brexit

As businesses digested the fallout of the vote to leave the EU, the spring and early summer of 2016 saw a predictable slowdown in recruitment across the Advisory and In-house markets.

However, following that initial air of caution, most firms took the view that it was business as usual until more clarity emerged and have largely continued with hiring plans.

Nonetheless, Brexit is likely to result in a significant upheaval for all the Financial Services sector as banks, clients, market infrastructure and regulators simultaneously carry out their plans to prepare for...