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The jobs are competitive. The work is demanding. It naturally follows that the rewards of the banking industry are among the most lucrative in the world.

Graduates entering the sector can expect to receive a starting salary in the region of £40,000 – far greater than the national average. The benefits, too, are substantial, with year-end bonuses often outpacing basic salaries. Many top investment banks operate a meritocratic culture, where staff are rewarded in proportion to work put in or results achieved.

Bonuses typically start at a fraction of basic salary – between 20% and 70% for entry-level front office roles, falling to 5-10% for back office functions – but these percentages climb with career progression. In front office roles, bonuses often increase exponentially, with the senior-most staff known to cap their years off with up to 300% of their salaries.

Inevitably, the other customary benefits seem slight in comparison, but they still make for attractive furnishings to reward packages. They can include low-cost travel season ticket loans, the option to buy additional holidays and subsidised staff restaurants or gym memberships.

For further insight into the distribution of salaries across front, middle and back office roles, take a look at the table below. It gives details of the average salaries attached to key positions, and shows the curve of salary maturity as you progress in your career.

Salaries in investment banking
Senior Manager/VP Director/SVP/
Head of Dept
Front office debt £60,000 £90,000 £100,000 £160,000
Front office equities £53,000 £75,000 £115,000 £160,000
Controller/finance/accounting £50,000 £60,000 £75,000 £108,000
Treasury £45,000 £63,000 £88,000 £153,000
Internal audit £55,000 £73,000 £90,000 £120,000
Compliance and regulatory £48,000 £70,000 £95,000 £185,000
Operations/trade support £40,000 £53,000 £88,000 £120,000
Risk management £50,000 £65,000 £90,000 £145,000
Credit analysis £48,000 £58,000 £100,000 £168,000
Change management £45,000 £65,000 £90,000 £125,000

Source: Michael PageBanking and Financial Services Survey 2014


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