City pay explosion leaves London with 2,700 bankers earning more than a million

Nick Goodway, Jonathan Prynn — London Evening Standard Nov 29, 2013

The number of UK bankers earning at least €1 million soared to more than 2,700 last year, in a new City pay explosion.

The figure is 12 times more than any other country in the EU, underlining London’s dominance as Europe’s financial centre.

The total rose by 11 per cent despite strenuous Government efforts to curb the damaging “bonus culture.” The figures, from the European Banking Authority, show thousands of London finance workers still measure their pay and bonuses in millions, five years after the banking crisis that triggered a devastating global recession.

It is likely to renew the row over “unjustifiable” City rewards at a time when millions of workers are seeing their salaries fall in real terms. Across the EU, 3,529 bankerswere paid more than €1 million (£833,200) of which 2,714 were from the UK. The average for bankers in this category was €1.951 million (£1.433 million).

The figures highlight the clash that British banks will face when new European rules come into force next year limiting bankers’ bonuses to twice their pay.

The rules applies to anyone in banking earning more than €500,000 and is expected to affect as many as 10,000 people in the City of London.

Bonuses among the highest earners in today’s survey were almost four times their base salary on average.

London-based banks have been pushing up base salaries and monthly allowances in order to retain key staff ahead of a year when their bonuses could be cut.

Of the British bankers earning more than €1 million, 2,188 worked in investment banking, 62 were in retail banking, 198 were in fund management and 266 were in other areas.

The European watchdog said that only 212 bankers in Germany earned more than €1 million, up by a quarter from 2011.

A total of 177 bankers were similarly well rewarded in France and 109 in Italy.

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