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Recruitment activity in London’s financial sector has picked up significantly since the start of the year, according to London-listed recruiter Robert Walters, in a further sign of growing confidence after Brexit-related uncertainty deterred many companies from making new hires last year.

In a first-quarter trading update on Tuesday, Robert Walters said net fee income from the UK was 27 per cent higher than the same period in 2016. The growth rate was a marked improvement compared to the first three months of last year, when a slowdown in hiring ahead of the Brexit vote meant fees expanded only 2 per cent.

The company also suffered from a dip in recruitment activity in the months following the referendum, but today it reported a “notable upturn in financial services recruitment activity in London, plus good performances in legal recruitment and the UK regions”.

Overall net income was up 33 per cent compared to the same period last year, at £78.3m. Its overseas businesses benefited from the weaker pound, with fees increasing 20 per cent when the effect of currency movements is removed.

The group’s eponymous chief executive Robert Walters said:

It’s been a positive start to the year with group net fee income increasing by 20 per cent. We remain confident about the group’s prospects for the full year.

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