Professional salaries in the Capital set to rise in 2017

Average starting salaries for professional roles in London will grow by 1.9% in 2017, according to the Robert Half 2017 Salary Guide.

  • Highest average rises in finance and accounting roles in London in 2017 will be for roles including chief financial officer and financial planning
  • Highest salary rises in technology roles include software developers and mobile app developers

London, 1 December 2016 – Average starting salaries for professional roles in finance and accounting, financial services, technology and administration in London will grow by 1.9% in 2017, according to the Robert Half Salary Guide.

The Robert Half 2017 Salary Guide is the most comprehensive and authoritative resource on starting salaries and recruitment trends in finance and accounting, financial services, information technology and administration. The Salary Guide enables employers and employees to benchmark starting salaries for more than 275 different permanent professional roles on a national and regional basis.

Matt Weston, Director – London, Robert Half UK, commented: “Companies based in the capital are having to navigate a rapidly changing and uncertain business environment, which places additional demands on a hiring market that is already adapting to increased regulation from the likes of Solvency II. Competition for the best people is intensifying and as this year’s guide demonstrates, salaries for hard to fill roles continue to rise and outpace the average salary by a significant margin.”

Accountancy and finance

Starting salaries for accountancy and finance roles are predicted to rise on average by 2% across 100+ positions in SMEs and large businesses across the capital. The most difficult areas to recruit for according to London based CFOs are for roles in payroll (25%) followed by roles in financial planning and analysis (23%).  This is reflected in higher than average predicted salary rises for London based financial planning and analysis managers (5.8%), and project accountants (4.9%). However, CFOs in large companies will see the biggest increases (6.8%). Salary rises for compliance roles range from 1.4% for compliance managers to 3.0% for compliance associates.

Salaries are predicted to continue rising for finance and accounting professionals across the board and businesses are eager to hire candidates with the right cultural fit along with technical expertise and experience. Part-qualified candidates looking to advance their careers with the same company are seeing their starting salary offers increase.

Table 1: accountancy and finance highest salary rises by role

Top three

2016 London average

2017 London average

% change

Chief financial officers

(large company)

£122,500 - £195,100

£129,000 - £210,300


Financial planning and analysis manager

(large company)

£82,200 – £95,800

£82,600 – £105,800


Project Accountant


£53,200 - £65,500

£58,100 - £66,400


Financial services

The emergence of the challenger banking sector and fintech in general is creating strong opportunities for professionals with retail banking skills. This is putting further pressure on the ‘traditional’ financial services sector when competing for new employees. Indeed almost all (99%) London based financial services executives state that it’s challenging to find skilled professionals.

Solvency II came into force at the beginning of 2016 and has changed the way European insurers do business. It has also sparked a wave of strong M&A activity in the market. This churn in the marketplace has created more demand for insurance professionals who can help companies achieve compliance and manage risk.

Consequently, the highest salaries in the financial services sector include those for risk and compliance with salaries for senior operational risk managers commanding salary increases of 11.7% and operational risk managers seeing increases of 9%.

Table 2: financial services highest salary rises by role

Top three

2016 UK average

2017 UK average

% change

Senior operational risk managers

£74,800 - £109,300

£85,000 - £120,500


Operational risk manager

£53,500 - £90,500

£62,000 - £95,000


Accountant with three years post qualified experience

£45,500 - £63,500

£51,300 - £64,700



One of the biggest changes to the London hiring climate remains the digitisation agenda. The huge emphasis on digitisation within organisations across all sectors means companies are heavily focused on growing their technology talent pool. Integration of technology capabilities into business models also means that professionals at all levels need to be more client facing and act as business partners with the rest of the organisation. The need for professionals to build new systems is creating a war for the best talent and salaries for developers are predicted to grow above average at 4.5%, with salaries for mobile app developers set to rise by 4.3%. Cyber security is a key concern for London based companies, which is reflected in the 4% salary increase for Chief Information Security Officer’s.

Table 3: technology highest salary rises by role

Top three

2016 London average

2017 London average

% change


£34,500 - £58,700

£35,500 - £61,900


Mobile app developers

£41,900 - £79,300

£46,400 - £80,000


Chief Information Security Officer

£126,700 - £192,900

£134,500 - £198,000


Administration and office support

The need for more clearly defined administrative roles is set to continue in 2017 with 48% of HR directors in the capital stating they will expand their teams by adding new positions. Specialists in telemarketing/telesales, administrative assistant’s and customer services supervisors are all set to receive salary increases of 3%.

Within the financial services sector in London, bonuses and basic salaries for personal assistants are increasing quickly, and organisations are competing for the best qualified and experienced professionals who can make a difference from day one.

Table 4: administration and office support highest salary rises by role

Top three

2016 London average

2017 London average

% change


£21,600 - £28,400

£21,900 - £29,700


Customer services supervisor

£26,100 - £35,500

£27,100 - £36,100


Administrative assistant

£20,000 - £31,600

£21,000 - £31,900


Matt Weston continues: “As ever the 2017 Salary Guide provides a fascinating overview of developing trends in the UK professional employment sector, from above average salary rises predicted for software developers and mobile app developers building systems to satisfy the digitisation agenda to increased remuneration for the customer service, sales and marketing staff who help to drive commercial business activity.

“As businesses undergo planning and recruitment strategies for 2017, they can turn to the latest Salary Guide to ensure they know where the salary hotspots are likely to be and whether they are paying top performers the salaries that competitors are likely to offer in the year ahead.”

- ENDS -

About the Robert Half 2017 Salary Guide

Since 1950, Robert Half has produced Salary Guides to offer business owners, hiring managers and professionals information on prevailing starting salaries in their geographic areas and insight into the latest employment trends. Companies consult the annual Salary Guide to determine appropriate remuneration for accounting and finance, financial services, technology and administrative professionals at all levels.

Information in the Salary Guide is based on the thousands of job searches, negotiations and placements managed each year by Robert Half's recruitment consultants, along with the company's ongoing surveys of executives. Continuing or ongoing salaries are not reported because many external factors – such as seniority, work ethic, non-monetary benefits, job performance and training – impact the salaries of permanent professionals as work histories develop.

Access the Robert Half Salary Guide

Notes to editors

1 The annual study was developed by Robert Half UK and is conducted by an independent research firm.  The study is based on more than 200 interviews with senior finance executives from companies across the UK, with the results segmented by size, sector and geographic location.

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. We have once again been named to FORTUNE’s “World’s Most Admired Companies®” list and remains the top-ranked staffing firm (February 2020). Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, legal and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and jobseeker resources at and