Eastern European influx bodes badly

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Banks have been avidly hiring juniors from Eastern Europe. Past experience suggests it's a sign we're at the top of the cycle.

"The last time large numbers of talented Eastern Europeans arrived in the City was the late 1990s," says Philip Beddows, a director at career consultancy IDDAS. "A few years later, the ghastly label 'Eurotrash' was applied when many of them became early victims of the downturn."

Schools such as the Warsaw School of Economics have become increasingly popular over the past two years, with a growing number of banks hiring there. We (at eFinancialCareers) know of at least two major banks which have extended their hiring tendrils eastwards.

Eastern Europeans are already a big hit in areas such as accounting and finance. According to figures from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), there are now 1,400 people studying the ACCA qualification in Poland, many of whom are eager to work in the City.

So, is history set to repeat itself? "There's no doubt that entry requirements are more open this year than they have been since the last peak in the cycle," says Logan Naidu, a consultant at recruitment firm Cornell Partnership.

"We've also seen more Eastern European and Russian graduates than usual," he adds, "but they usually have excellent academics and have got in on their merits."