Australia’s rising dollar has the potential to attract overseas finance professionals.
The Aussie reached a 23-year high of US$0.90 last month – up a whopping 86% since 2001. Since the start of 2007 it’s also up around 9% against sterling and 5% against the euro.
With the rising dollar making Australian jobs increasingly lucrative for international bankers, anyone would think Sydney might see an influx of people from the City of London, Paris or Hong Kong.
Apparently not, according to local recruiters: “They come for the lifestyle, not the dollar,” says Andrew Wood at Derwent Executive. “If they’ve got kids, they want to escape the pollution and intensity of places like Hong Kong, and Australia’s school system is excellent and cheap.”
There’s also the lure of the 50 or so beaches that bankers based in Sydney can choose from if they manage to escape from the office.
With Australian banking pay already on the increase, Warren Price at Select Personnel says the rising dollar might just make a difference at the margin.
However, the country still has one major factor against it – taxes. Wood says young bankers looking to make big money are best advised to go to Asia where the top tax rate is 15%, compared to Australia’s 48.5%.
There’s also the fact that the rising Aussie is liable to become a double-edged sword. On one hand, it may well attract international financiers into the country. On the other, it will devalue the savings of Aussies currently working overseas – making them less likely to head back home.