Recruitment for tax professionals has held steady within investment banking, with more jobs registered year on year. Most roles were replacement hires, however, and little additional investment was made. Tax teams can find it hard to argue the case for extra headcount when they are not a fee-earning function with the result that they are not always sufficiently resourced. On top of this, banks’ restructuring programmes may have left gaps that ideally should be filled.
Although the recruitment market for tax professionals within retail banking has been quiet, it has also been relatively stable. Retail banks have been heavily focused on VAT compliance and the private banks have been recruiting temporary staff to focus on capital gains tax.
Tax professionals within investment management have enjoyed slightly greater job security than their peers in investment banking over the past couple of years, as the industry has been less affected by the financial crisis.
Nevertheless, there are not a huge number of tax jobs available within investment management as many firms just have one or two tax specialists and use the Big 4 for additional advice. Some investment management firms have grown their tax functions, however, although private equity made a number of redundancies in tax due to the lack of deals that took place in 2012.