Poaching of employees by rivals is becoming a problem in the City again as confidence returns to the jobs market in the capital’s financial services industry, according to a survey.

More than four out of five City human resource and line managers believe hiring will increase this year, said Morgan McKinley, the financial recruitment ­specialist.

The reviving jobs market is a boost to London’s morale amid fierce controversy over threats to its future as a global financial centre because of rising taxes and regulation, coupled with a long-term economic shift to Asia.

The number of new job vacancies in the capital’s financial service sector rose by 24 per cent last month, to 2,268, compared with a year ago, said Morgan McKinley.

In the survey of 124 City managers, 83 per cent said hiring would increase this year, while 16 per cent thought levels would stay the same. Nine out of 10 expected business activity to increase.

More than half admitted it was now more difficult to find good candidates with the right skills and experience compared with a year ago.

The biggest personnel challenges, according to those surveyed, were “remuneration” (61 per cent) and “poaching of employees by competitors” (42 per cent). Only 5 per cent said handling redundancies would be among their main problems.

“Our findings highlight that over half of those surveyed are already finding it difficult to source professionals with the right skill set. This is particularly the case for those who are skilled in change and project management as businesses plan to place greater emphasis on organisational change this year,” said Andrew Evans, managing director of Morgan McKinley’s financial services division.

He added: “This insight ... indicates that there is likely to be an upward trend in job vacancies throughout the first quarter and potentially beyond.”

However, 45 per cent of respondents reported that the 50 per cent tax levied on bonuses this year would make it more difficult to attract talent to the City.

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