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High living costs outweigh high pay

A survey by Mercer HR Consulting says Moscow is now the most expensive city in the world - bad news for bankers planning a secondment to the city this year.

Ex-pat life in Moscow is now 24% more costly than ex-pat life in New York according to Mercer. Life in Hong Kong is 16% more expensive and London is 10% more expensive.

The cheapest financial centres of the world are the likes of Dubai, Paris, Singapore, Frankfurt and Milan, which are all less expensive than New York City.

Variations in the cost of living go some way to evening out pay discrepancies between cities. A recent salary survey by search firm Napier Scott found senior debt capital markets bankers in London are paid around 12% more than their U.S counterparts.

In other cases, higher pay more than outweighs higher costs. Another survey by recruitment firm Robert Walters found senior M&A bankers in London receive salaries that are around 60% higher than their counterparts in Paris. This is despite London being only 19% more expensive to live in.

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