British bankers are the happiest with their bonuses compared to US and Europe

Smile Aleksandra P

Bonus satisfaction or not ?

Bankers at the UK's investment banks are the happiest with their bonuses, while workers at French banks are among the least satisfied, new survey data shows.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), HSBC and Barclays topped a poll of more than 2,500 bankers by pay benchmarking firm Emolument, while French giants Societe Generale and BNP Paribas were both in the bottom three of the major investment banks in London.

Some 30 per cent of employees at the three British banks included in the survey said they were happy with their bonuses – although more employees at every bank barring Goldman Sachs were dissatisfied with their payouts.

Bank Unhappy Unsure Happy
RBS 39% 31% 30%
HSBC 35% 35% 30%
Barclays 37% 33% 30%
Morgan Stanley 33% 39% 28%
Goldman Sachs 24% 49% 27%
Deutsche Bank 52% 22% 26%
JP Morgan Chase 38% 37% 25%
Credit Suisse 52% 26% 22%
UBS 48% 31% 21%
Bank of America Merrill Lynch 35% 44% 21%
Societe Generale 47% 33% 20%
Citigroup 51% 29% 20%
BNP Paribas 52% 30% 18%

Bankers at European banks were among the least satisfied with their bonuses (Source: Emolument)

Some 27 per cent of Goldman employees surveyed said they were happy with their bonus, compared to 24 per cent who were unhappy – the lowest of any bank in the survey. However, ,the US giant also had the largest proportion of unsure bankers, reflecting a "culture of confidentiality" around pay, Emolument said.

The banks with the most unhappy bankers were Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas, where more than half said they were dissatisfied. German flagbearer Deutsche has suffered a torrid few years, kicking out another chief executive in April, while European banks generally pay less than their Anglo-Saxon counterparts.

The higher satisfaction of British banks may reflect improved corporate performances after almost a decade of scandal and losses which dragged back pay.

Thomas Drewry, co-founder at Emolument, said: "Employees have limited tools to gauge the fairness of their bonuses, so they rely on the data that is within their reach: their company's results and their previous bonus.

"The latter is usually what will determine whether an employee is satisfied with her or his bonus, as even a high number will feel bittersweet if it comes after an even higher one."

Read more: US bankers retain lead over British in battle of the bonuses

Full story: British bankers are the happiest with their bonuses: City A.M.

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