Bankers who work in tall towers are paid more

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Tall tower, large wallet

How tall is your office? Very tall? That's good - a tall office seems to be correlated with a large wallet.

New research from Emolument.com, the self-described 'real-time salary data specialist' suggests that UK-based bankers who work in Canary Wharf are paid more than bankers who work in the City of London.

The differences in compensation are quite substantial - especially when it comes to bonuses for junior bankers. Emolument found that Canary Wharf-based analysts get 50% higher bonuses than analysts based in the City of London. When salaries are factored in, analysts earn 8% more working in the Canary Wharf than in the City, and associates earn 21% more.

Canary Wharf is renowned for its tall towers. The City of London is renowned for its low-rise heritage buildings, although this is changing (slowly). Bankers in tall towers appear to be paid more.

Correlation does not necessarily mean causation, however. Higher pay in Canary Wharf may have less to do with the height of the buildings than the composition of the residents. The City of London is home to Deutsche Bank and UBS, neither of whom are known as big payers. Canary Wharf is home to U.S. houses like Citi and Morgan Stanley which have traditionally skewed pay towards performance. And yet, the City of London also hosts high payers like Goldman and BAML, and Canary Wharf also hosts low payers like HSBC - suggesting that composition may not be an explanation either.

Alternative explanations are welcome. Could it be that Canary Wharf bankers earn more to compensate the additional distance they have to travel to work (from West London) every morning?

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