(Adds company comments, details, background, shares)
By Esha Vaish
Oct 17 Hiring levels in London investment
banking have picked up in recent weeks, though it is too early
to say whether this will continue in the wake of Britain's vote
to leave the European Union, recruitment firm Robert Walters
said on Monday.
There have been concerns that banks in Britain will shift
some jobs abroad if the Brexit vote leads them to lose the
ability to offer services across the European Union - or so
called passporting rights - from a base in London.
Top bankers warned last week they could start moving staff
abroad as early as next year.
Robert Walters, chief executive of the company that shares
his name, told Reuters there had been a pick up in hiring at
London investment banks towards the end of the company's third
quarter to Sept. 30, mainly for risk and compliance roles.
But he cautioned recruitment in banking tended to be
volatile, with companies often announcing new jobs only to come
out with "draconian hiring freezes" just weeks later.
"Banking is an impossible one to predict at the best of
times, and overlay on that Brexit and passporting issues and it
makes it even more difficult to predict," he said.
Larger rival PageGroup said last week that
confidence among employers in Britain was "fragile" following
the Brexit vote, with multinational financial services firms
particularly holding off from hiring. UK recruiter Hays
is expected to post quarterly results on Tuesday.
Robert Walters, which also places workers in engineering,
legal and marketing jobs, said London hiring had generally
picked up in September, after a fall off ahead of and after the
June 23 referendum.
The company said UK gross profit rose 9 percent to 23.4
million pounds ($29.1 million) in the quarter, on growth in its
outsourcing business as well as trade finance jobs and some
regions outside London.
It had reported comparable growth of 4 percent for the first
six months of 2016.
At 1025 GMT, its shares were up 2.3 percent at 349.75 pence.
($1 = 0.8042 pounds)
(Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bengaluru; Editing by Louise
Heavens and Mark Potter)