The cities that pay the best salaries for finance workers

Hong Kong
By Andrew Harbison, CA Today

12 April 2016

New York and Hong Kong top the list of cities that pay out the biggest salaries and bonuses for finance workers, according to a new report.

Salary benchmarking site put together the list of top paying cities for those working in the banking sector at both junior and senior levels.

It found that the average salary of a New York City analyst is almost as much as the combined salary and bonus of their counterparts in London.

Highest paying cities for analysts

New York $ 83,000 $ 32,000
Zurich $ 89,000 $ 10,000
Hong Kong $ 85,000 $ 7,000
London $ 71,000 $ 14,000
Frankfurt$ 66,000$ 11,000
Paris & Ile-de-France$ 55,000$ 11,000
Singapore$ 51,000$ 11,000
Amsterdam$ 54,000N/A
Milan$ 49,000N/A


At the director level, New York is trumped only by Hong Kong for the highest average pay out. Directors in Hong Kong are on average earning $41,000 more a year than those in New York.

However, New Yorkers receive the best bonuses, with 54% of a director's annual earnings being made up of the compensation. This is due to a culture among NYC banks of using large bonuses to incentivise and retain key revenue-making staff, researchers said.

Highest paying cities for directors

City SalaryBonus
Hong Kong $ 274,000 $ 265,000
New York $ 227,000 $ 271,000
London$ 226,000$ 192,000
Singapore$ 228,000$ 154,000
Dubai$ 230,000$ 142,000
Zurich$ 202,000$ 45,000
Paris & Ile-de-France$127,000$ 116,000
Milan$ 127,000$ 55,000


Even though New York has muscled out London in terms of pay packets, the grass may not be greener on the other side of the pond.

On paper, bankers in New York are being paid 18% more than those in London, but the cost of living is 12% higher in the Big Apple. It seems those bagels and pastrami sandwiches will add up in the long run.

The report also highlighted some interesting trends in the hiring strategies of  banks in Singapore.  Directors there earn around six times more than analysts.

With 80% of analysts being Singaporean graduates and 87% of directors holding a degree from foreign universities, the report indicates that hiring local graduates is a way for banks in the country to keep their costs down.


  • Business
  • North America
  • Asia

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