City bonuses fail to reach pre-slump peak as regular pay boosted instead

BONUSES in the financial sector have held up this year but remain below their pre-recession peak, with evidence of regular pay being boosted instead.

Bonuses averaged £901 a week in February and £760 a week in March this year, it was revealed today, roughly on a par with the same figures from last year (£975 and £714 respectively).

Strong pay growth “at around five per cent and above” (roughly double the UK average) in financial services “may also suggest that earnings growth in the sub-sector has transferred from bonuses to regular pay,” Incomes Data Services said.

Along with strong bonuses in the factory industry, the finance sector’s payouts have propped up average bonus season rates to roughly the same level as 2010.

However, bonuses in the construction and retail sectors have fallen year-on-year.

“Payments are significantly higher than in the recession-hit bonus season of 2009, but have still not quite reached the levels seen before the crash,” the report concluded.

Across the UK, the average weekly bonus came in at £72 in March, three per cent higher than the same time last year.