Regulation costs hold down bank pay despite economic recovery

Tim Wallace
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BONUSES and pay are set to rise again for some bankers thanks to rising stock markets, according to a report out yesterday from consultancy Options Group.

But they will fall in some areas and be constrained in others by increasing regulatory costs.

Equities workers should see an average pay rise of 12 per cent this year compared to 2012, the study found, while investment bankers and wealth managers are set to see a six per cent increase each. And bankers specialising in emerging markets should also see increases.

However not all financiers are doing as well – those in fixed income, currencies and commodities expect a 10 per cent rise in average compensation, Options Group said.

The fall limits the overall average rise to four per cent globally.

“This is the year of divergence. Many banks have made significant progress optimising their balance sheet, implementing greater efficiencies and adjusting headcount,” said Option Group chief executive Michael Carp.

“However, this will not translate into larger bonuses for most professionals, as a portion of the cost savings will be used to offset rising costs associated with legal, regulatory and compliance issues.”