Which banks paid the biggest bonuses this year?

The City
By Andrew Harbison, CA Today

22 March 2016

In light of new data on the rise of bonuses for junior staff in banks, is this enough to attract new talent in the face of old issues? Andrew Harbison reports.

Vice Presidents and Directors of some of the world’s largest banks have seen their bonuses fall by up to 33% this year, according to a new report.

The findings, published by the salary comparison website Emolument.com, also found that bonuses of graduates and junior managers rose in comparison to those of their managers.

Analysts saw an average 150% rise, while associate level bankers received a 21% increase.

How the banks compare

The analysis looked at the bonus schemes of Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, RBS, Credit Suisse, Barclays Bank PLC, Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

All displayed a drop in bonuses among senior managers, apart from Citigroup, which saw a rise of 4%. Citigroup also paid the highest average bonus in 2016 of £83,000.

Bonus evolution by bank 2015/2016

Bank2016 BonusChange
Deutsche Bank£40,0000%
Credit Suisse£60,000-9%
Barclays Bank Plc£48,000-13%
Morgan Stanley£45,000-24%
BNP Paribas£51,000-27%
Bank of America Merrill Lynch£63,000-30%

Table data: Emolument

The rise is mostly likely due to Citigroup doubling its profits in 2015, a trend unlikely to continue with the firm announcing an unexpectedly poor result for the first quarter of 2016.

The data seems to show banks looking to encourage a new generation to begin their career in banking, with the average bonus for an analyst more than doubling from £6,000 to £15,000 since 2015.

Banking has seen its fair share of negativity in the media over the past few years, and a career in the industry is often synonymous with high levels of stress. The rise in bonuses for new starts seem to be an attempt to alleviate these worries, but this may not be the right step.

Bonus evolution by job title 2015/2016

Associate £31,000£37,500+21%

Table data: Emolument

Alice Leguay, Co-Founder & COO at Emolument.com believes that throwing money at these issues is not the way to tackle them. She said: “More than doubling bonuses for juniors might not solve the issue long term.”

She believes that the next generation of talent are more concerned about working in an open and ethical environment and “having a purpose in their career, which is putting pressure on banks to take a much-needed hard look at their culture, transparency and capacity to adapt to a Fintech economy”.

It is unlikely that we will see a wave of MDs leaving as a result of a docked bonus. Base salaries for senior management have been steadily rising since 2008.

Emolument’s data is based on 2,500 Front office employees working in the UK for JP Morgan, BAML, Citigroup, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Deutsche Bank and RBS

Source: Emolument


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