Two more reasons for IT contractors to be cheerful: increased hiring and the Renminbi

Financial IT contractors have two more reasons to be cheerful this week. The latest Morgan McKinley London Employment Monitor confirms that City hiring bounced back during September as predicted.

And the Chancellor has struck a deal with the Chinese that will see London become the global offshore hub for trading the Renminbi (RMB) and investment into China. This good news closely follows the hugely positive Confederation of British Industry (CBI) PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Financial Services Survey published last week.

So, what does this mean for you in practical terms, as an IT contractor? Well, as I’ve highlighted before, the UK’s financial sector hires more IT contractors than any other part of the economy except for the software sector. The vast majority of these contracts are in London’s financial districts, and the South East of England.

Although you might think it slightly abstract, there is a direct correlation between activity in London’s financial sector and IT contracts. Morgan McKinley’s survey confirms that vacancies increased by 8% during September. “There is a renewed energy within London’s financial services sector and the volume of vacancies is once again on the rise,” noted Morgan McKinley Financial Services operations director, Hakan Enver.

The news that London is set to occupy a unique position as the RMB’s offshore trading and investment hub, and that the City will also welcome branches of Chinese banks, should result in a surge in activity and hiring. New systems will be required, or existing systems adapted, to manage the new work. Financial sector workers with specialist skills will gravitate towards London.

All of this new activity will need IT contractors, alongside contractors with other skills, to create and maintain the infrastructure to support the new business. And, knowing the City, everything will be required ‘yesterday’. This is likely to result in new projects that have been planned in anticipation of this news receiving funding approval within weeks, with contracts to follow.

If you are an IT contractor who likes to play the long game, you may also wish to consider which skills – including learning Mandarin – that will be required to support this new currency trading, equity and bond investment and inward investment by Chinese banks. What IT requirements will new Chinese entrants to London’s banking market have?

As the market gathers pace with renewed growth and the fresh opportunities offered by London’s new status, hopefully your earnings will increase at a similar rate. And as your income increases, we can help you develop compliant and efficient tax planning strategies to minimise your tax liabilities and maximise your earnings. Please get in touch so we can ensure that you too will benefit from London’s recent good news.

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Shams Urrehman
MD SkyTax

Hi, I'm Shams Urrehman, Qualified accountant since 2005 and Director at SkyTax Ltd since 2009. I have been advising freelancers, management consultancies, IT contractors, SME’s and other businesses about accounts and tax planning.

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