According to recruitment firm Astbury Marsden Job creation was up 22% on the same period in 2013, with an additional 1369 City jobs being advertised during the usually quiet seasonal hiring period.
The company says that about 33,000 jobs were created in the City for the whole of 2014, up 18% on 2013.
Adam Jackson, managing director of Astbury Marsden, said that finance recruitment activity is finally catching up with the UK job market recovery and that it had “gathered strong momentum”.
But he added this is far from a return to the aggressive hiring seen before the financial crisis. “The investment banks are still very sharply focussed on improving efficiency as they continue to implement new regulatory capital requirements,” he said.
However it will be a boon for UK business schools – some of the highest ranked such as Cass and LBS are based in London – which have seen falling numbers of MBA students entering the financial sector.
In the US, the autumn careers reporting season found that a growing number of MBA students at the highest-ranking schools turned away from finance and instead to technology.
Michigan’s Ross School of Business, the Tuck School of Business and Wharton School all saw their graduates go increasingly geek, with Amazon typically one of the biggest recruiters of their students.
However, the rewards are becoming richer in the financial sector. Senior finance workers in London were expecting to see their bonuses increase by 21% in 2014 despite regulatory pressure, according to a separate survey from Astbury Marsden.
Some 40% of City workers were expecting an increase in their bonus in 2014, compared to 34% last year, while 66% were expecting to receive a bonus, up from 61% in 2013, says the recruitment firm.
“Business conditions in the City have improved significantly over the last year, which is now translating to rising bonus expectations,” said Adam.
“Despite shareholder and public pressure to limit bonuses and with the EU bonus cap now set to be introduced at the start of 2015, City staff clearly feel that their employers are in the position to reward them well.”
The positive MBA jobs outlook follows data in 2014 that show banks increased their hiring for digital positions.
The big UK banks have been pushing their services online, part of new digital strategies.
In November BusinessBecause revealed that American Express plans to hire 250 MBAs in 2015 to drive a “digital transformation”.
The US-based financial services group will focus its recruitment in the UK, India and North America.