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Nine in 10 still consider career in finance attractive

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Almost nine in 10 (88%) executives still believe the financial sector is an attractive place to work, despite 39% admitting the industry's reputation affects its appeal to potential employees.

Accountancy and financial recruiter Robert Half's Financial Career Snapshot: Taking the Industry's Temperature is based on a survey of CFOs and COOs across 100 UK financial services companies.

It suggests that businesses in the sector are looking to address the negative perception of the industry caused by the 2008 financial crash, with 87% taking steps to improve their reputation among employees.

Of those that have taken steps to enhance their employer brand, 48% have introduced flexible working, while a further 38% are looking at implementing remote working.

Financial reward remains the top factor in making the sector attractive to employees, with 57% citing this as the main pull of the industry. However, remote working (34%) and an improved working environment (28%) are seen as the next most significant factors.

Robert Half Financial Services director Andy Dallas told HR magazine the rise of flexible working, combined with competitive reward, could mean employees enjoying "the best of both worlds" in the financial sector.

"Financial reward is always going to be a big factor," he said. "But it's well understood that employees are expected to work pretty long hours for their pay. The introduction of flexible working, as well as the appeal of working in a global hub such as London, could see the sector remain one of the most appealing areas for people."

Neil Owen, global practice director at Robert Half Financial Services, added working on their image will help employers attract the top talent for the sector.

"Embracing and investing in one’s employer brand – providing work environments and benefits programmes that attract, motivate and retain while also aligning to the ethos of today’s workforce – will ensure the industry remains the palpable choice for new entrants and experienced professionals alike," he said.