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Parisian pay is under pressure.

French banks face pay nightmare as BofA keeps hiring in Paris

Bank of America has made another hire for its expanding office in Paris.

The U.S. bank recruited Valentin Malrieux from Goldman Sachs in London for its growing Paris-based equity derivatives sales team. Malrieux began his career at HSBC and Credit Agricole in Paris, but moved to London in 2015. Now he's back in the French capital again.

This isn't the first time BofA has gone to Goldman for its Paris talent. Last month, it hired Rémi Collignon from Goldman Sachs in London for its equity derivatives structuring team. In May, BofA also recruited Raphael Benoliel, a director in rates trading from JPMorgan in London.  

Headhunters say BofA is the most active recruiter in Paris. Most other banks are still at the stage of trying to shunt staff from London. Barclays, for example, is said to have issued Paris-based contracts and to be moving some of its European sales staff to the French capital soon.

As BofA builds out its Paris office, headhunters say local French banks face a pay conundrum. "French banks have been lagging behind the rest in Paris when it comes to compensation and this is becoming an issue as hiring heats up," says a headhunter. "They will need to increase their pay if it's to be competitive."

Most French banks are understood to cap Paris managing directors' (MDs') salaries at around €200k. U.S. and other European banks typically pay a lot more than this. Credit Suisse, for example, is said to offer €400k to MDs in the French capital. A recent salary and bonus survey from Paris headhunter Vendôme Associés revealed large discrepancies in pay at banks in Paris, with salaries at some banks double those at others. 

When American banks arrived in London in the 1980s, pay in the City increased dramatically. Paris could be about to undergo something similar. 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher and Thierry Iochem Insider Comment

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