Salaries for newly qualified accountants in the City of London have hit record levels with the average total compensation package offered by investment banking and financial services employers in London is now worth up to £65,000 ($120,000) a year.
Figures compiled by City recruiter, Morgan McKinley, show the extent to which strong demand for qualified staff from investment banks and other financial services employers in the City have pushed up starting salaries.
The shortage has been exacerbated by cutbacks in graduate intake numbers by the large public practice firms in 2002/2003 which have continued to affect the size of the 2006 candidate pool and in turn the levels of remuneration these individuals can command.
"The continual rise in total compensation packages for these individuals is testament to the value they place on the qualification as well as the desire to secure these individuals in what is an extremely tight candidate market," said Robert Thesiger, chief executive of Morgan McKinley.
ACA qualified product controllers within investment banking can now command an average basic annual salary of £52,000, up 6% on 2005 and 22% on 2003 levels, the survey found.
Average bonus payments are adding a further £13,000 onto pay packets, bringing their total average take home pay to £65,000 per annum.
The same upward trend has been seen for those newly qualified ACAs working in financial control and internal audit within investment banks with total compensation packages averaging £58,800 and £54,000 respectively.
"Internal audit has definitely moved up the corporate agenda over the last few years with the increase in related regulation but due to the simultaneous expansion in banking activity we've not seen internal audit salaries soar above those of financial and product controllers," Thesiger said.