Bank pay falls but UK still has 77 per cent of €1m financiers

Tim Wallace
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RITISH bankers have seen pay plunge in recent years as the weak economy and intense scrutiny took their toll, according to figures out yesterday from the European Banking Authority.

The number of UK bankers paid over €1m (£865,000) fell to 2,436 in 2011, down 3.5 per cent on the year. Their average pay dived 37.6 per cent to €1.44m.

Bonuses fell compared with salaries, plunging from six-times fixed pay to 3.5-times salaries.

That brings variable pay closer to the EU’s maximum level of no more than twice the level of salaries. And while the cap will hit bonuses, lawyers warn it may have serious unintended repercussions.

“It may simply mean an increase in fixed salaries, which are not risk adjusted and rarely fall when performance is poor,” said Nicholas Stretch from CMS Cameron McKenna.

Despite the fall Britain still has more than 14 times as many bankers earning more than €1m than the closest rival Germany, accounting for 77 per cent of the 3,173 in total across the EU.