Sunday 13 March 2016 11:05 am

UK bank bonus rounds 2016: Boss’ bonuses hit as banks reward junior staff instead - while Citigroup awarded the best bonuses this year

Looking for a job in banking? You could do a lot worse than heading to Citigroup, which awarded the biggest rise in bonuses this year, according to new research. 

In fact, Citi was the only bank to increase bonuses for mid-ranking managers, according to salary benchmarking site Emolument. 

The bank increased its VPs’ bonuses four per cent year-on-year – but that trend is unlikely to last, after it announced unexpectedly bad results earlier this week.

And months after JP Morgan was forced to cut 5,000 jobs, VP bonuses at the bank have fallen 43 per cent, the largest drop out of the nine employers surveyed by Emolument.

Bonuses for bankers in senior roles have fallen this year, as banks plan for the future and increase the bonuses of junior staff instead.

The research also showed that while the bonuses of VPs and directors have dropped 24 per cent and 33 per cent respectively, analysts’ bonuses have risen by as much as 150 per cent on average.

The survey of 2,500 front-office employees working in the top UK banks also showed associates’ bonuses were up 21 per cent on average, from £31,000 to £37,000.

“Inspiring Generation Z to take up a career in banking is challenging, especially considering the serious downside and risk of being exposed to legal proceedings as regulation and legal enquiries come into play,” said Alice Leguay, chief operating officer at Emolument.

“More than doubling bonuses for juniors might not solve the issue long term though, as this generation of young talent is intent on having a purpose in their career, which is putting pressure on banks to take a much-needed hard look at their culture.”

Although the average managing director bonus has taken a hit, down by eight per cent, Emolument suggested the figure was misleading, as it didn't show the polarisation in bonuses at the level of managing directors.

Banks no longer rule out giving managing directors no bonus, but are happy rewarding key deal-makers with very large pay packages. VP bonuses fell at nearly all of the big banks in the UK.