Job vacancies in London’s powerhouse financial sector fell sharply last month as the Brexit vote applied the brakes to the pace of hiring, a report found.

Heightened uncertainty surrounding Britain’s vote to leave the European Union saw the number of available jobs drop by 12 per cent month on month in July, according to a study by Morgan McKinley.

But while hiring took a hit from the referendum result, the decline was not as aggressive as expected, the research said.

Hakan Enver, operations director of Morgan McKinley, said businesses found themselves in post-Brexit limbo over hiring, while the climate of uncertainty made it more risky for staff to change jobs.

The recruiter’s London Employment Monitor – which focuses on banking, financial services and inner-city jobs – found that the number of available positions fell 27 per cent year-on-year in July. It added the number of professionals looking for a new posts also slipped 14 per cent month on month and 13 per cent year-on-year last month.

Mr Enver said the employment picture tended to reflect the level of mergers and acquisitions activity in the capital, adding that “when deals are placed on hold, in many instances, so is hiring”.

There were concerns that the Brexit vote could trigger an exodus from the City of London as banks and financial services firms looked to maintain their close trading ties with Europe.

A report released by Boston Consulting Group after the referendum result said up to 80,000 jobs could be shifted out of London and into rival financial centres across the European Union.

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