Salaries for some finance professionals in the Midlands have barely nudged up since 2006, according to new research.
In 2006, the pay bracket for finance directors in the region was between £55,000 and £120,000 a year – and those figures have stayed static for the last five years, according to recruitment firm Robert Walters.
Qualified accountants working in industry in 2010 earned between £30-£50,000 – compared to £28-£40,000 in 2006.
HR directors haven’t seen much of an increase either in the last five years – their pay bracket has gone from £70-120,000 in 2006 to £80,000 – £120,000 last year.
Coming as inflation remains stubbornly above the Bank of England target, despite a surprise dip in March to four per cent, the recruiter’s survey shows the slow progress in salary increases among Midland professionals across the board.
The findings come as official national figures reflected the pain faced by consumers throughout the UK, with wage growth falling far below the rate of inflation.
Average earnings increased by two per cent in the year to February, 0.3 per cent down on the previous month, the Office for National Statistics said.
Meriden-based BRI Asset Management commercial director Hannah Edwards said there were a number of reasons for muted salary increases in the region’s professional services sector.
One of those was that companies were resorting to paying professional fees later and later, and that was having a knock-on effect on salaries, she said.
“Certainly solicitors and accountants are probably finding people are paying professional fees slightly later than previously or indeed are now negotiating far harder on fixed professional fees.
“The by-product of that is that professional net income is falling and in turn for professionals who are salaried and bonused there will be an impact.”
She added that drastic steps to cut costs brought in during the downturn were continuing to be felt.
“It’s more common now for our corporate clients to have taken a pay freeze or even a pay cut, so that contributes to why wage inflation has fallen.
“And those individuals who would have previously been much more mobile in the job market have been more inclined to stay put within their roles – that also has an impact on northward pressures in wage inflation.”
But it was not all doom and gloom as some firms had recently awarded more generous pay increases, Ms Edwards said. “I think firms that are experiencing good corporate profits are hopefully being mindful of the fact that CPI is at four per cent and are therefore looking at wage increases marginally higher than inflation.
“But I don’t think all firms are in as fortunate a position,” she said.