Morning Coffee: Exciting perks of new £100k finance jobs. Concern as senior banker concludes he's had enough over Christmas

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The European Central Bank is hiring. We've been saying so for sometime, but now that we're in 2014 the ECB's recruitment has attained an air of increased urgency: it needs to find 1,000 people by the end of this year.

Jobs at the ECB might not seem too appealing. It's making regulatory hires who will be based in Frankfurt and it won't be offering the kinds of rewards on offer in investment banks. It will, however, be offering the kinds of rewards on offer to European bureaucrats and these have quite a lot going for them. Bloomberg reports that salaries for the new jobs at the ECB will range from €54k to €117k (£45k to £97k) and that bonuses can be another 35% on top of this. But it's the perks that are particularly exciting: ECB staff pay tax at rates starting at 8% (although rising to 45%), their children are schooled for free at the European School in Frankfurt, and they get a generous pension of up to 70% of final salary. They also get to live in Frankfurt, where the cost of living is around 30% lower than in London. For anyone who can't cope on the ECB salary, the bank's own website says it also offers a financial counselling service to families with serious debt problems.

Separately, Richard Meddings' festive decision to give up work is causing a few ripples. It was reported yesterday that the finance director of Standard Chartered sat down over Christmas and decided he'd had enough of the job he'd been doing for the past eight years. Meddings has handed in his resignation and is due to exit Standard Chartered in June with no job to go (albeit on a full year's salary). The Telegraph suggests that Meddings' exit is a little mysterious. It's not normal to reach the realization that you want to quit on Boxing Day. Is Meddings' exit really the result of a power struggle? Does Standard Chartered need to raise more capital? Has the bank pursued the wrong strategy? Stan Chart is one of the only banks to have increased the importance of its wholesale banking arm since the financial crisis. Wholesale banking revenues there have gone from 20% to 40% of the total. Has Meddings made a mistake?


The new deputy chief executive at Standard Chartered will be Mike Rees, formerly head of the bank's wholesale arm. Rees will receive a 30% increase in his base salary, to £975k but Standard Chartered said the EU bonus cap will reduce his overall compensation by 40%. (Financial Times) 

The big six US banks are set to post net income of about $73 billion in 2013, a 22% gain from 2012, making it the best year for the industry since the financial crisis. (Financial News) 

Brazilian investment bank BTG Pactual has hired Jan-Erik Back, formerly of  Reuben Brothers Resources Group, as head of commodities. It has another 99 commodities hires to go. (Financial News) 

BlackRock has agreed to stop interviewing Wall Street analysts to gain their views on companies after accusations that the practice gave it an unfair edge in the markets. (The Times) 

Amazon has a rigorous method of interviewing people. Special 'bar raisers' who are pedantic interviewers are drafted in to grill new staff. (WSJ)

“How do you fit a giraffe in a fridge? - Asked at UBS. “Can you spell ‘diverticulitis” – Asked at Morgan Stanley (The candidate answered “No.” and passed). (Gary Chaplin) 

Read this business card and weep. (Twitter)