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City bonuses set to boom

Three-quarters of City staff expect their 2005/06 bonus to be higher than in 2004, according to financial services recruitment specialists Morgan McKinley.

Seventy-one per cent of those surveyed expect their bonus to be higher and almost a quarter expect their bonus to be more than double the previous year’s, with 24 per cent of respondents expecting an increase of 100 per cent or higher, says the firm’s employment survey.

Only 22 per cent expect bonuses to be on a par with the previous year and just 6 per cent are anticipating their bonus to drop.

The number of new jobs in the sector coming on to the market increased from 5,922 in July to 6,489 in August compared with 4,347 last August.

The report finds that City average basic salaries have fallen by 4.2 per cent to 49,334 in August compared with July but are up by 1.7 per cent on August 2004. Average basic salaries for senior profess- ionals fell from 74,689 in July to 70,667 in August but are up from 69,427 average a year ago.

Morgan McKinley’s survey was conducted last month and the firm asked 150 City employees for their expectations on bonus structures.

Chief executive Robert Thesiger says: “City optimism about bonus payouts over the next bonus round is a sign of the current confidence in the market. A number of investment banks have performed well and the survey shows that financial services professionals are expecting to see the fruits of their labour.”

“Even if this optimism is diluted over the coming months as banks begin to manage the expectations of their staff, it is likely that bonuses will be healthier than last year and, as always, top performers will be well rewarded.”

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