Brexit and drive for growth sees IT fintech salaries surge

By Roger Baird on Wednesday 19 June 2019

Digital Banking

London retains its dominant European status, but Brexit presents employment challenges, says report.

Brexit and drive for growth sees IT fintech salaries surge
Image source: Photo by Fox from Pexels

Brexit uncertainty and the drive for growth among fintechs is pushing up IT salaries at these firms, according to a report.

Software development jobs are the most prized as young fintechs, and banks racing to catch up, saw salaries jump by up to 8 per cent in 2018, compared to the year before across the sector, said the survey by UK recruitment firm Robert Walters and data company Vacancy Soft.

London-based java developers lead the pack, commanding starting salaries of up to £60,000, followed by software developers in the capital on up to £55,000.   

Intense competition between UK-based fintechs - lead by Revolut, TransferWise, OakNorth and Funding Circle - and high street banks attempting to upgrade their services has led to bidding wars in order to gain top level IT professionals, said the report called The UK Fintech Revolution.

The survey said:  “It is already estimated that salaries have increased by between 6-8% in certain key specialisms, where just as noticeably, the issue of replacing people is becoming so challenging, that buy backs and counter offers are becoming more prevalent.”


Capital gains

Fintech employment leapt by 61 per cent in London last year, compared to the year before, with IT roles now accounting for 30 per cent of jobs in this sector.

Most fintech lenders are loss-making but are racing to add accounts, which they later hope to turn into profitable customers. These firms continue to attract billions from investors who believe this wave of companies can emulate Big Tech giants such as Facebook and Google.  

However, Brexit provides a challenge to financial service firms as around a quarter of IT workers in the UK are from overseas.

The survey said:  “The capital has historically been able to attract skilled IT professionals from across the EU, yet with the current political climate, perhaps unsurprisingly, this is proving to become more of a challenge.”

In firms with offices across a number of countries “questions being asked as to whether certain roles should be relocated to curb the impact of the talent shortage facing the UK”, said the report.


Global unicorns

London still retains its dominant role in European fintech accounting for 39 per cent venture capital funding last year, followed by Berlin on 21 per cent and Paris on 18 per cent.

The UK was the only country with two cities in the top ten list for this type of funding, with Cambridge coming in at ten, attracting 2 per cent of all European venture capital funding for fintechs.

The UK capital continues to have the second largest concentration of fintech firms in the world, after San Francisco. There the 29 fintech unicorns worldwide - firms valued at over $1bn - nine are in San Francisco, while seven are housed in the UK.

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