Perth financiers top of the perch

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Where do you go to earn most in Australian finance? Not Sydney, not Melbourne, but Perth.

The latest Hays recruitment salary survey shows there has been a significant salary spike in Perth, reflecting the local mining boom and buoyant economy of Western Australia.

According to the survey, the average salary for a senior manager in treasury operations in Perth is AU$130k, equal to Sydney and ahead of Brisbane (AU$125k) and Melbourne (AU$110k). Meanwhile, a general manager in fund management in Perth is currently earning around AU$165k, compared with AU$155k in Sydney and Brisbane and AU$150k in Melbourne.

The same pattern is evident across most other positions. For example, a senior relationship manager in corporate and commercial lending will currently be earning around $AU140k in Perth, compared with AU$135k in Sydney or Brisbane and AU$110k in Melbourne.

What makes Perth so lucrative? "The demand in Perth has really been driven by the resources boom in the state, which has had a flow-on to salaries through the entire banking and finance sector," says Matthew Gowan, senior manager of Hays Banking.

In fact, the Western Australian mining boom pushed salaries in the city up nearly 23% last year, compared to just 8% in Sydney.

"The major banks and even non-banks have been expanding their financial operations across a range of different areas to handle the market growth," Gowan says. "Salaries in wealth management and financial planning have been standout areas, but candidates in the commercial banking, business development, property finance and corporate banking areas have also been in very strong demand."

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