Over three-quarters (77 per cent) of IT staff working in the financial services sector are looking to change jobs within the next year, a new survey shows.

By surveying 540 permanent and contract IT staff in the financial services sector in March, recruitment experts Hays also found that two-thirds of these professionals plan to start looking as early as in the next three months, with 41 per cent citing salary as their strongest motivator.

Sam Corcoran, director at Hays Finance Technology, attributed the findings to uncertainty and changes in working conditions and benefits caused by the financial downturn. "Salary freezes, increased workloads and redundancies have resulted in decreased loyalty from employees, which has contributed to feelings of unrest," said Corcoran.

Hays found that 28 per cent of staff believed that the financial crisis had caused increased stress, while a quarter of respondents said they now work longer hours. Redundancies in the sector have also led to nearly half (48 per cent) of professionals believing that the recession had decreased job security.

Meanwhile, over half of respondents said they did not receive a bonus in 2009, which is significant as 42 per cent of respondents said that a bonus should make up to at least 20 per cent of their annual package. Despite this, only one per cent of respondents said a bonus was the greatest motivator for changing jobs.