Fat cats getting fatter? Bankers’ bonus culture lives on as millionaires’ club tops 2,700

Figure is 12 times more than any other country in the EU

The number of UK bankers earning at least €1m (£833,200) rose 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.

They are 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 bankers were paid more than €1m of which 2,714 were from the UK. The average for bankers in this category was €2m (£1.6m).

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 apply to anyone in banking earning more than €500,000 and are 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 €1m, 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 €1m, up by a quarter from 2011.

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

“Self-regulation does not work and the report illustrates why the European Parliament took the unprecedented step of inserting a hard bonus cap in the absence of action by the industry,” Arlene McCarthy, Labour MEP for North-west England, told Bloomberg.

The Chancellor George Osborne has filed a formal complaint against Brussels over the bonus cap plans amid fears the move will backfire and drive up salaries.

The Treasury began legal action in September, arguing the EU had gone beyond its remit in seeking to regulate bonuses, which it claims had been decided without proper consultation and with no impact assessment.

But banks are understood to be planning to sidestep the rules by handing out monthly payments to affected staff.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the average weekly bonus in the financial sector was £143 in April – a rise of 64.4 per cent compared with April 2012.

The dramatic rise came against a background of falls in bonuses over the last year, suggesting recipients had been delaying collecting until the Government’s cut in the top rate of income tax came into effect in April.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Direct Marketing Manager - B2C, Financial Services - Slough

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...

Carlton Senior Appointments: Sr Wealth Manager - San Francisco - Inv AdvisoryFirm

$125 - $175 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Senior Wealth Manager – In...

Carlton Senior Appointments: Private Banking Manager - Intl Bank - Los Angeles

$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer – Office...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum