More than 3,500 bankers in Europe earned $1.36m or more last year after a big jump across the continent and in Britain, which had 12 times as many high earners as any other country.
Reuters reports that figures from the bloc's banking regulator on Friday showed that London-based bankers would have easily bust the European Union bonus cap rule coming into effect next year. Bonuses for the highest earners were almost four times fixed pay.
The scale of bankers' bonuses remains a hot topic among politicians and the public. Many blame high pay for the risk-taking that led to the 2008/09 financial crisis and a series of mis-selling and misconduct scandals.
The European Union is trying to curb excessive pay and has said that from 2014 bonuses for "risk-taking" staff cannot exceed annual salary, or twice that if shareholders give their approval.
The latest data from the European Banking Authority (EBA) shows that 3,529 bankers in the EU earned at least 1 million euros in 2012, up 11% in 2011.
Britain accounted for 2,714 of those top earners, up 11% on the year before, reflecting London's dominant position as Europe's financial centre and home to major operations for banks from the United States, Switzerland and other countries outside the EU.
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