Belfast Telegraph

SThree reports slowdown in banking and finance recruitment

Recruitment firm SThree has said a slowdown in banking and finance hiring following the EU referendum is continuing to impact its British operations.

Profits at its UK and Ireland arm fell 19% to £13 million in the first quarter as the group was also stung by a slowdown in public sector recruitment.

It represents the fourth quarter in a row of decline in the UK and comes after a 12% drop in the previous period.

"T he overall growth rate was impacted by a continuation of the more difficult market conditions in banking and finance, and Brexit uncertainty and public sector reforms within the UK," the firm said.

SThree saw gross UK profits at its permanent hires division fall 37%.

However, the poor performance was offset by better figures from the US and Europe, helping total gross profit come in broadly flat at £65.1 million.

Chief executive Gary Elden said: "Our contract business continues to grow robustly. We were also pleased to see momentum re-established in the USA, where gross profit grew by 12% in the first quarter, a significant acceleration from the second half of 2016.

"Looking ahead, political and macro-economic uncertainty remains at heightened levels in a number of our key regions. Against this background, we are managing the business prudently and continue to invest in our highest performing teams."

The news comes days after fellow recruiter Morgan McKinley said Brexit had put the brakes on hiring in the Square Mile, with figures showing a sharp contraction in the City jobs market ahead of Article 50 being triggered.