UK bankers' 2016 bonuses revealed: many unhappy despite bumper year

Managing directors are reporting bonus pay 52 per cent higher than in 2015

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The Independent Online

High levels of “paranoia and suspicion” are taking the shine off a bumper year for bankers bonuses.

Emolument, a website that crowdsources employment data, has seen an influx of data on bonuses from bankers as they look to compare their latest earnings with their peers.

More than a thousand bankers from the London offices of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and others have submitted details.

Many admit to being unhappy with their extra pay despite huge top-end payouts more than twice their annual salary.


Managing directors are reporting bonus pay 52 per cent higher than in 2015. That means top earners are taking home an average of £618,000 in bonus pay in 2016, compared to £300,000 last year, when their annual salary is still around £258,000.

But a lack of transparency about bonus pay means many are unsure how to feel about the added cash.


The majority of bankers from all the banks surveyed said that they were unsure how to feel about their bonus or unhappy with it.

“No matter how much a bank pays its employees, if the process is shrouded in secrecy, the levels of paranoia and suspicion wipe off goodwill earned through higher bonus payments,” said Alice Leguay, COO and co-founder of Emolument.

The UK has some of the toughest rules on bankers bonuses.

Bonuses are capped at a certain level under EU rules. Many senior managers can also have their bonuses withheld for as long as a decade.