We like to keep graduates in the loop. Last week, we brought you the news that graduates are increasingly valuing job satisfaction over a good salary. And this week it has come to light that graduates are prizing their reputations over a sizeable pay slip, with reports that investment banks have been forced to raise their starting salaries to attract top graduates amid a backlash against recent financial scandals.
The rise is enforced as student unions and university debates have been busy criticising the banks this year in the wake of the Libor scandal and numerous money-laundering charges, and the “social stigma” of working at a bank surfaces once again.
Jon Terry, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers who advises all the top banks on pay levels, said: “There is no doubt that 'banker bashing’ and the scandals at the banks are impacting graduate decisions about going into the City. The importance of reputation seems to have gone up tremendously. Money is only part of the equation for grads – they don’t want to go to a party and say they work for a bank.”
Starting salaries have been upped to between £45,000 and £50,000 a year (yes, really) at top investment banks, which is a 5% rise from the previous year amid “reputational issues”.
“Graduate pay at investment banks has gone up but this hasn’t happened elsewhere in financial services,” Mr Terry added. “Some of the reputational damage – such as money laundering – has happened in other parts of banking but in the eyes of graduates, as with the wider public, it’s seen as investment banking, not banking at large.”
As a result of this reputational damage, investment banks are struggling to pique the interest of the 2,500 graduates they usually recruit on an annual basis.
Law graduates tend to rake in the second biggest salaries, pocketing around £35,000 a year. However, there are a greater number of well-paid jobs in other sectors
that could see you earning well above the average graduate starting salary.
Would you go to a party and admit to working for a bank? Which type of graduate jobs do you think would provide you with a good reputation?