Employees in finance and insurance – less than 4 per cent of the UK workforce – scooped more than a third of the £40.5bn in bonuses paid out across the economy in the year to April, the Office for National Statistics said yesterday.
The average bonus per employee in the finance and insurance industry was £13,300, up £700 on the previous year. The two sectors, accounting for 3.8 per cent of all employees, picked up £14.4bn in bonuses, according to the figures. The numbers also dwarf the average bonus per employee, which was just over £1,500.
However, finance and insurance bonuses grew at less than half the rate of the rest of the economy, with payouts rising 6.1 per cent to £26.1bn. In the public sector bonuses fell 16.3 per cent to £1.3bn, partly due to the privatisation of Royal Mail last October.
Bonuses as a percentage of total pay reached 6 per cent for the whole economy but this was still below the 7.1 per cent seen in the year to April 2008. Bonuses also contributed an increasing proportion of financial sector pay, at 24.2 per cent, though this had been higher at 33.9 per cent in the year to April 2007. In the rest of the economy they made up 4.2 per cent of total pay.