City salaries hit £65k and rising

Accountants working in City banks were celebrating average salaries of
£65,000 this week, but recruiters warned there may be some weakness in the wider
job market.

Despite strong sentiment from recruiters Robert Walters about the increasing
financial prospects for accountants, interim figures for Hays saw its fees in
accountancy and finance grow by 6% to £158m.

Hays stated that its overall performance in the sector was ‘moderate’ and fee
growth was slowed due to weaker volumes and pricing pressure. ‘There was strong
growth in the home counties, but this was offset by weak performance elsewhere,’
the group said in its interims statement.

Research by Morgan McKinley, also out this week, suggested salaries for newly
qualified ACAs in the City are now as much as £65,000. Those working as product
controllers for the banking and financial services have seen their total salary
rise to £65,000. This is a 4% increase on the 2005 figure of £62,500.

Despite the single-digit growth, Morgan McKinley’s chief executive Robert
Thesiger hailed the salaries as indicative of the ‘high regard’ with which the
ACA qualification is held in the city.

Thesiger highlighted the increased focus on internal audit as an area of
salary growth, but said it had not grown beyond other sectors due to the
expansion of banking activity.

Robert Walters revealed better fortunes for the sector, by posting
double-digit interim growth figures – driven by its UK accounting and finance
recruitment practice.

Net fee income grew by 15% to £20.9m compared to a year earlier.

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