Things are better, but Nordic banks still cautious about hiring

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First quarter figures for the Nordic region's banks over the past few weeks have suggested that the worst of the financial crisis may now be over, and there are clear signs this optimism is filtering through into the jobs market.

But the crisis in the eurozone could yet put a spanner in the works, warn recruiters.

Q1 results for the big Nordic banks beat analysts' expectations across the board and, while the banks were cautious about being too specific about future growth plans, there is now much more confidence around recruitment than there once was, says Johan Wingren of recruiter Michael Page in Stockholm

"Definitely there is more recruitment going on and people are feeling more optimistic. It is not explosive but candidates are feeling more confident that the crisis is over," he explains.

Swedbank, for one, this week revealed it has hired Thomas Eriksson, former global head of private banking at SEB, will to head up its fund management arm, Swedbank Robur, while Anders Karlsson will be joining Swedbank from Carnegie Investment Bank, where he was chief risk officer.

"Compliance is looking pretty active, as is financial control. Credit analyst positions are in demand and there is activity on the corporate finance side. Having said that, the bulk of the recruitment going on is still internal, so people are often moving but only within their organisations," adds Wingren.

And this burst of increased activity may not last, he also cautions.

"First, bonuses have now been paid and so we will already have seen any movement on the back of that. Second, there is always a slowdown over the summer months and third there could be an effect from worries about Europe and the euro. There is a possibility uncertainty over that could dampen down confidence and activity," says Wingren.

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