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Sign-on bonuses offered to Singapore accountants

Banks in Singapore are raising salaries and offering signing on bonuses of around $Sing30k (10,000) in an effort to close the gap on accountancy pay in other global financial services centres.

This is one of the findings of a new salary survey, suggesting that accountants working in banks Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore are paid significantly less than their colleagues in the City of London and on Wall Street.

Research by recruitment firm Robert Walters shows City of London accountants can earn more than twice as much as their counterparts in banks in Asia.

Accountants working in Singapore-based banks emerged as the worst paid globally, although Steven Edwards, head of marketing at the company, said signing on bonuses are an increasing part of the country's hiring landscape.

Edwards attributed high London pay to a shortage of skilled accountants in the City: "There are very few of them and banks are in a much better position to pay higher salaries."

Robert Walters' survey coincides with claims by rival UK recruitment firm Morgan McKinley, that newly qualified accountants working in the London can now earn as much as 65,000.

Pay - Newly qualified accountants working in financial services roles globally

UK Salary 42k-57k, % of salary as bonus 10-30%, % salary increase from 2005 8-12%

US Salary 37k-47k, % of salary as bonus 10-30%, % salary increase from 2005 6-10%

Australia Salary 26k-30k, % of salary as bonus 10-12%, % salary increase from 2005 3-4%

Singapore Salary 20k-23k, % of salary as bonus 10-20%, % salary increase from 2005 10-20%

Hong Kong Salary 24k-27k, % of salary as bonus 25%, % salary increase from 2005 3-4%

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