Investment bankers working in London for many top U.S. and European firms face a major overhaul of their pay structure
JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Barclays and Credit Suisse paid bonuses to leading staff which ranged from 3.3 to 5.4 times their fixed pay for 2012, according to data disclosed by the banks and Reuters calculations.
Big changes will therefore have to be made to meet the European Union rules which cap bonuses at the same level as fixed pay, or double if the bank's shareholders approve.
Banks usually pay staff bonuses in January or February based on their performance the previous year. So while the EU curbs came into force this month, they will be applied first to bonuses for 2014 to be handed out early next year.
Banks are expected to increase fixed pay and reduce bonuses to meet the new rules, although Barclays, HSBC and others are coming up with innovative ways to deal with this issue.
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