Brown envelopes coming: bonuses likely to be decent

Piggy Bank and Coins

It's that time again.

Prepare for 'an out-of-body experience'.

We have Sir Philip Hampton, the Chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland, to thank for describing that memorable reaction to negotiating a $6.5m bonus with an employee of the bailed-out bank and the recipient's fury at the level of the payout, which he considered derisory. A rival of the unnamed banker was getting $9.8m. 'This is absolutely outrageous to them, that somebody is getting 50% more,' Hampton recalled.

The Guardian reports that the RBS chairman will no doubt be braced for a round of similarly awkward experiences in the weeks ahead, as banks around the City enter their annual bonus season. While Hampton will undoubtedly be doling out large sums – in 2012 RBS handed out at least £1m to 95 bankers – the figures will be dwarfed by rivals if history is any guide.

Take the US banks. In the coming fortnight the biggest players on Wall Street – Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan – will all report results for 2013, which will determine the size of the payouts to their workforces. 

In just the first nine months of 2013 the big US banks set aside $63bn to pay their staff. Analysts at Sanford Bernstein reckon that Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs will pour another $6.3bn into the pay and bonus pot when they report their full-year results next week.

The brown envelopes outlining the size of each employee's bonus will he handed out shortly afterwards.

To access the complete Guardian article hit the link below:

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