City Staff Pay On The Up

The UK's Office for National Statistics issued some interesting figures on pay last week.

According to the government agency, the average pay for a male working in the 'City' is now almost $190,000 (there are said to be 134,000 of them), compared to $97,000 for the average female and just $60,000 for the average male working outside the 'City'. Total compensation is said to have gone up a record 21% last year.

And it's good news (as we knew anyway) in the City on the bonus front this year. Bloomberg reports that, according to the Centre for Economics and Business research, bonus payouts to City bankers and fund managers could increase 18% this time around to $16.7bn. Around 4,200 City workers are expected to pull in a bonus of  more than one million pounds ($1.89m) for their efforts in 2006, up from about 3,000 last year.

In the meantime, London continues to prosper as a major financial center. The New York Times quotes London's Lord Mayor, David Brewer, who said earlier this summer that 'we (London) are the greatest international finance and business capital of the world, the world's greatest global financial centre, without question'. And Europe, and particularly London is on the up. Wall Street firms are expected to make record profits again in 2007, but not due to the US economy (which is thought to be heading for a slowdown), but due to growth in Asia and Europe. The US has lost its lead in IPOs, and London is already taking the lead in the growth in syndicated loans and hedge fund assets.

And the costs of regulation is also playing its part in making London a more attractive financial centre than New York. Sabanes-Oxley, it seems, is taking its toll. London looks to be in a strong position - if only Gordon Brown and UK regulators can resist the temptation to tax and regulate us out of business!

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