Being from the UK, I am probably well placed to answer your questions.
1. The short answer is no. In Europe, it is just simply not as common as in the US to leave your job to study fulltime for an MBA. There are exceptions like management consultancy for example. You still need an MBA to progress. That being said, there are quite a few Top 10 US b-school alums in banking for instance. However outside of the typical industries of MC and IB, it is not nearly as common.
2. I think it depends on your work experience. In my opinion, MFin is for those with limited work experience and MBAs are better suited for those with at least a few years worth of work exp. As for the relevance of the content, it is inevitable that some of the courses will be irrelevant e.g. accounting for CPAs.
Excellent post - thank you!
I have 3 years of pretty unqualified work experience (read: "worked at a local bank back at home before going to college for my undergrad, each summer I go back to said bank to work for 2 more months"), so I don't know if that constitutes "limited" work experience or not. As I interpret what you're saying, and MBA - all else equal - is more attractive to employers than a MscFi, is that so?
As it is right now, Stockholm School of Economics offers a 2 year MscFi, Im on the fence on whether I should pursue getting accepted there (for no tuition cost at all - Swedes don't pay for school), or pursue a 2 year MBA in a top 5 b-school (the only ones I would consider in the US would be H/W/S, in Europe would be LBS) which would incur hefty tuition and opportunity costs...
So Im trying to weight which of the two options would be a) viable for me and b) economically sound for me.