Salaries for professional roles in the City will grow by 3% in 2016

The 2016 Salary Guide offers the latest hiring trends and recruitment advice for professional occupations, including accounting and finance, financial services, technology and administrative roles in London and across the UK.

  • Pay for professional roles in finance and accounting, financial services, information technology and administration predicted to rise by an average of 3% in 2016
  • Highest average rises for finance and accounting roles in London will be approximately 4.0% for senior positions
  • Information technology salaries will grow by 4.0% on average but mobile application developers will receive the highest salary increase (7.4%)
  • Within the financial services industry, roles in risk and compliance will attract the highest annual rise (4.9%)

London, 14 October 2015 – Starting salaries for professional roles in London including finance and accounting, financial services, information technology and administration will grow by an average of 3% over the next 12 months, according to the Robert Half 2016 Salary Guide. This is a higher increase than predicted in last year’s guide, which identified a 2.6% rise.  It is also slightly higher than the average annual salary rise of 2.8% announced by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in October 2015and well ahead of the current inflation rate of -0.1%.

The Robert Half 2016 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 salaries for 275 different permanent professional roles on a national and regional basis.

The roles that are the most difficult to fill are predicted to see salaries rising the most quickly in 2016, including those in the risk and compliance function within financial services firms (4.9%) and information technology roles (4.0% on average), particularly digital and IT security roles.

Matt Weston, Director, Robert Half UK commented: “London continues to outpace the rest of the UK with the most in demand professionals receiving multiple offers and driving up salaries. In addition, the growing supply and demand imbalance is expected to increase salaries for specialised roles. With growth back on the agenda in the city, businesses are actively seeking the skilled professionals they need to achieve their goals and drive profitability.”

Accountancy and finance

Starting salaries for accountancy and finance roles are predicted to rise on average by 2.2% across 100 positions in SME and large businesses.  Overall, there are higher rises on offer for more senior-level roles, reflecting the ongoing need for finance professionals who can add value through business partnering and providing strategic insight for the business, not just fiscal control.  The highest average rises for finance and accounting roles are around 4.0%, so hard-to-source senior and specialist professionals can expect a steady climb in remuneration prospects.

Table 1: accountancy and finance highest by role

Top three 2015 London average 2016 London average % change
Financial analyst £48,000 - £57,400 £48,400 - £61,300 4.0
Chief financial officer £110,300 - £135,800 £110,600 - £145,100 3.9
Finance director £80,300 - £131,900 £81,600 - £138,700 3.8
Financial services

Compliance remains top of the agenda for financial services firms as the sector balances revenue-generating activities and the need to remain compliant with heavy regulation. As such, nearly all (98%) finance directors reported that they are challenged in finding skilled financial services professionals. Salary raises for risk and compliance roles are predicted to increase by 4.9%, the highest average rise for any category within financial services in this year’s Salary Guide.

Starting salary increases for finance and accounting roles in the financial services sector are slightly outpacing finance and accounting within commerce and industry at 2.7% (compared to 2.3%).  Salaries for banking operations functions (including trade support, and back and middle office roles) are predicted to grow more slowly than the average for the category at 1.8%.

Table 2: financial services highest rises by role

Top three 2015 London average 2016 London average % change
Senior operational risk manager £70,000 - £102,300 £74,800 - £109,300 6.8
Junior compliance analyst £21,500 - £33,300 £22,500 - £36,000 6.8
Head of operational risk management £90,300 - £165,300 £97,300 - £175,000 6.6

Hiring within the technology function is predicted to see the greatest rise overall (4%). Digital technology and IT security functions are expected to see the highest raises, including digital technology specialists (7%) and IT security (6%).  Key drivers behind these substantial rates include the need to introduce innovation to drive growth and productivity, as well as the burgeoning technology sector itself, which is recognised as one key area to deliver future growth for the city.

Table 3: technology highest rises by role

Top three 2015 London average 2016 London average % change
Mobile applications developer £40,300 - £72,600 £42,000 - £79,300 7.4
Web developer £44,500 - £65,500 £47,100 - £71,000 7.3
Senior web developer £62,600 - £80,000 £66,800 - £86,100 7.2
Administration and office support

As businesses pursue growth strategies, there is an increased need to enhance the internal structures required to support expansion activities and this is creating demand for talented administrative staff.  Average starting salaries for certain roles are predicted to grow beyond the average, including receptionists at 3.4% and administrative assistants at 3.2%.  The average rise for all roles across the function is predicted to be 2.1%.

Table 4: administration and office support highest rises by role

Top three 2015 London average 2016 London average % change
Receptionist £19,700 - £28,000 £20,000 - £29,300 3.4%
Administrative assistant £20,000 - £30,000 £20,000 - £31,600 3.2%
Customer helpdesk £23,000 - £26,400 £23,500 - £27,100 2.6%
Weston added: “As the London market continues to rely on specialist professionals who are able to add value from day one, hard-to-fill roles are experiencing higher than average pay rises due to the increased competition for these candidates. Companies who want to attract top talent will need to act quickly in order to win the ‘war for talent’.”

“In the lead up to 2016, it is more important than ever that companies should also look to “re-recruit” current staff in a bid to retain staff - proactively benchmarking salaries could provide businesses clarity in meeting their retention and hiring needs while ensuring budgets accurately reflect business needs.”


Notes to editors

About the 2016 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, job performance and training – impact the salaries of permanent professionals as work histories develop. Download the Robert Half 2016 Salary Guide.

Customising salaries for local markets

The regional variance is supported by data from HM Revenue & Customs, the Office for National Statistics, our local offices and ongoing surveys of senior executives. National starting salaries can be localised to your market using the variance index numbers below. The average salary index for all 11 regions is 100.

The index figures serve as a guide to determining average starting salaries. Factors such as company size, employee benefits, the candidate’s skills and current market conditions can affect actual starting salaries.

Regional variances

UK 100.0%
Scotland 98.4%
North East England 90.0%
North West England 92.9%
Yorkshire 91.9%
East Midlands 91.8%
West Midlands 92.8%
East of England 97.9%
London 129.0%
South East England 106.0%
South West England 92.3%
Wales 89.5%

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