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Opinion

FSA benefits from crisis

Don’t shed a tear for government authorities working overtime to sort out the financial crisis. The dire situation is playing into their hands by not only increasing their influence but also helping to solve one of their own long-running challenges – how to attract top talent on the cheap.

Financial regulators such as the UK’s Financial Services Authority are being swamped by CVs from former City workers and those worried that they will become former City workers. The FSA declined to comment but City insiders say that the regulator is looking like an increasingly attractive opportunity to high-fliers and those that have already gone the way of Icarus, thanks to its rock-solid, state-backed finances.

Not only does the FSA offer the lure of a "competitive market-based salary" but the UK regulator is one of the few City institutions that has yet to announce a freeze on bonuses, potentially worth up to 35% of full-year salaries for its top performers.

Jumping ship to the FSA would be a relatively painless change for workers who used to be based at Canary Wharf or still are, and new recruits will find many of the same benefits that they have grown accustomed to at flashy investment banks, including a subsidized onsite restaurant for those looking to cut back on food expenditure, as well as a subsidized onsite gym.

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