If you work as a corporate banker you will never be as well-rewarded as the rainmakers in investment banking. On the flip side, corporate banking does offer a more stable career – lay-offs are less common – and recruitment is rising as banks seek out steadier revenue streams. As a result, talent shortages are now cropping up in the sector and salaries are starting to increase.
The tables below show average corporate banking pay (in US$) in the US, UK, Singapore and Hong Kong across five levels of seniority. Junior and mid-level corporate bankers in the US have a clear earnings advantage over their counterparts in the other three markets – you’ll be paid $80k on average as an analyst there, almost double what you’ll get in Singapore. In fact the US has the highest base salaries right up until VP level.
At director and MD level, the US loses its salary edge over the other markets – directors in the UK can potentially out-earn their American counterparts, for example. If you’ve reached the director ranks you will be managing more clients and generating substantially more revenue than your junior counterparts, making corporate banks more willing to offer salaries in excess of $200k.
While analysts and associates in Asia are paid a lot less than those in the US and UK, the gap narrows from VP level. And corporate banking pay is rising faster than pay in most other parts of the Asian finance sector.