Bankers in junior positions in the City of London who work for British-headquartered banks picked up bonuses of just a quarter of what those working for American institutions in the UK earned, according to research by salary-benchmarking site Emolument.
Salary-benchmarking site Emolument surveyed 1,640 London bankers on this year’s bonus payouts and found the majority were either unhappy with, or unsure how to feel about, the amount they received.
At the scandal-hit Deutsche Bank 61% of bankers were unhappy with their payouts in the recent 2017 bonus season, as were half of the bankers surveyed at Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas. Nearly a third of HSBC’s bankers were unsure about their bonus, and 47% were unhappy.
While JP Morgan came out as the ‘happiest’ bank, the proportion positive about their bonus was just 28%, and not a single bank had more a proportion of more than 50% of satisfied bankers.
Emolument put the dissatisfaction down to the strains on the banking sector which has seen payments scaled back in favour of hiking annual base salaries. Banks who had performed well were more likely to have staff feeling they deserve a greater pay out, while struggling banks’ staff were likely to be happy with their payment.
The survey also revealed the average pay of bankers across the UK, US and Europe. It found US banks pay their staff a higher salary and fork out more in bonuses. An analyst in the UK earns £50,000 a year on average, and will receive a £5,000 bonus but could earn £58,000 in the US and score a bonus of £20,000. Average director pay at UK banks is £170,000 with a bonus of £115,000, and in the US the average salary was £174,000 and bonus payments stood at £155,000.
Commenting on the site's findings, Alice Leguay, co-founder and COO said: "While stringent regulations have capped bonus amounts substantially in the last 10 years, the banking industry is still by far the best paying sector with many bankers earning close to 100% of their annual base salaries, which have been hiked to compensate for a decline in bonus amounts."
“However, high pay does not allay bankers’ frustration with their careers. "Banking is no longer perceive as a glamorous job, now highly scrutinised and regulated, with many shackled to it in order to fund their existing lifestyles", she concluded.
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