A zero bonus, and constantly worried about being laid-off

Bad Bonus Pool

Stress in the City. It's not all roses in the financial markets, with many receiving low (or no) bonus, and under constant threat of losing their jobs.

Here's something sent in by one of our readers:

'Every other article in the financial press over recent weeks has highlighted the massive bonuses that investment bank staff will be receiving this year. If only that were true!

Headlines stating that the average bonus at the top financial institutes will be £50k, £100k, £250k give Joe Public the impression that anyone working in banking is in for a bumper payout. The reality, of course, is that a select group of individuals at these firms will be receiving extremely large bonuses, making the average very high while the majority of back office, IT or admin staff will be lucky to get anything at all.

I’ve worked in the financial markets for many years, and currently working in the City for one of the top four investment banks. Having been here for just over 3 years, I can honestly say things aren’t as rosy as the public might think.

Recent reports stated that the average bonus at my firm was in the high five figures - well, I received zero bonus last year and most of my colleagues I know well enough to talk to about this 'forbidden' subject stated that they received the same, or very little.

Added to that, in the little over three years I have been here, my job has been under threat of redundancy at least four times. I have seen many job cuts in such a short period, and am constantly reminded how the firm needs to keep cutting costs. Those of us that have escaped the axe for now have been rewarded with more work (left by those no longer with us), and an average 10 hour daily shift.

There’s a vibe most people feel that you are easily replaceable, and that there is always a less expensive overseas resource waiting to replace you. This intimidates you to tow the corporate line - making 10 hours days acceptable, covering out-of-hours with a smile on your face, and saying 'thank you' when handed a large pile of extra work with a tight deadline.

So next time you're reading about these bumper bonuses, remember that the average industry employee will be lucky to get anything, and consider themselves fortunate to still be employed!'.


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