Pay jumps for financial IT contractors

The credit crunch doesn't look likely to hurt financial contractors, as recent research by Atsco has shown pay is at its highest level in two years.

The credit crunch appears not to have hit pay for IT contractors in the financial services sector, as recent research has shown an 11 per cent jump in the past six months.

The statistics, released by SkillsMarket and the Association of Technology Staffing Companies (Atsco), show that average hourly rates for IT freelancers working in finance firms rose from 45 to 50 - its highest level in two years.

Indeed, technology's use in boosting security, risk mitigation and creating efficiencies likely mean the financial sector will require more IT professionals, not fewer. "Ironically, during a slowdown investment in IT is often one of the best ways for banks to increase efficiency and make cost savings elsewhere, so despite difficult trading conditions, the City ought to resist savaging IT budgets," Swain said.

Stephen Grant, managing director of Atsco member Cititec, agreed: "Risk management and compliance are still growing areas of demand for IT skills in the City. If anything the credit crisis and the Socit Gnrale scandal will accelerate this process, rather than put the brakes on spending."

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