Macquarie pays London rates

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Australian investment bank Macquarie is moving into the big league by paying its senior staff London-style salaries and recruiting homegrown graduates for its UK business.

"We are...competing for high quality staff in all of the world's major financial centres," the bank's chairman, David Clarke is reported as saying on "In order to succeed, the bank's remuneration needs to be broadly in line with that of other investment banks based in cities like New York and London."

At the bank's annual general meeting, Clarke said remuneration levels needed to reflect the fact that nearly half of the bank's operating income now comes from international activities, with 36% of the bank's director level staff based overseas.

Macquarie is also hiring graduates into its London office. The bank declined to say precisely how many, however.

Macquarie's international expansion could prove bad news for any Australian bankers hoping to do a stint abroad. One London-based search consultant says the bank is boosting the number of UK nationals on its staff in order to reduce its reliance on Aussie expatriates, who have a tendency to return home unexpectedly.