A report from Robert Half Financial Services revealed that almost three in five executives (59%) said their company increased its level of onshoring – transferring offshored business operations back to Britain – in the past two years, while only 4% decreased it.
Reasons for bringing the jobs back ranged from service quality complaints (64%), increase in costs (54%), skills shortages (53%) and lack of efficiency in offshored regions (37%).
“In the face of change, financial services companies in London are increasingly under pressure to remain competitive by maximising performance and decreasing costs,” said Robert Half UK director Matt Weston.
“In order to achieve this and offer a premium service, many firms are bringing key business operations back to the UK and creating centres of excellence by creating jobs and career development opportunities for local talent.”
The research showed that companies also used offshoring for reasons other than cost, with more than two in five executives (44%) admitting they would consider returning operations to the UK if the work was carried out more efficiently.
Just over a third (34%) said they would consider doing the same if the right skills were available locally.
Research also found that onshoring carried multiple benefits for companies, with executives reporting increases to service quality (44%), customer responsiveness (42%), focus on the core business (41%) and focus on innovation (38%).
Weston said that businesses needed an efficient workforce that was equipped with the right skills to “fully leverage” the advantages of offshoring.
“UK firms are experiencing greater innovation and increased efficiencies, and finally have access to the necessary expertise that was previously hindering businesses that had moved their operations offshore,” he said.
“To avoid future skills shortages and ensure their workforce operates at an optimal level, financial services companies need to invest in adequate training programmes to develop these business-critical competencies.
“Failing this, employers are looking externally to recruit qualified professionals on both a temporary or permanent basis to meet strategic and operational objectives.”
Yesterday, recruitment agency Morgan McKinley’s London Employment Monitor revealed that there was a 5% increase in job vacancies from October to November, despite the Office for National Statistics reporting the first across-the-board drop since the European referendum.