London Banking Bonuses Yield Widespread Discontent, Study Shows

Only 23 percent of respondents were satisfied with their current bonuses.

To the surprise of nobody, one of the financial industry’s most moribund sectors, banking, has underwhelmed its constituents with bonuses and compensation. Virtually across the board, London bankers were unhappy with their bonuses, attesting to a tough year for lenders who have been struggling with profitability, according to a Bloomberg report.

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Most lenders have opted to scale back the bonuses made available to them for personnel and leadership – the decision is a result of the many issues plaguing banks, including lower profitability, declining revenues, and industry headwinds.

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Deutsche Bank has been one of the more active in this space, recently gutting its bonus pool by upwards of 50 percent in one of the more aggressive decisions in the entire industry. Other banks have recently resorted to similar measures, such as Credit Suisse, which expanded its bonus pool, only to walk back the decision a week later following investors scorn.

Deutsche Bank
Reuters: Deutsche Bank Headquarters in Frankfurt

Happy Campers

According to a recent survey citing 1,640 people across a composite of eighteen banks, only 23 percent of respondents polled were satisfied with their bonuses. On the other side of the spectrum, 61.0 percent of respondents at Deutsche Bank were unsatisfied by their bonuses, possibly attributed to the aforementioned rollbacks.

Most respondents offered tepid endorsement at best to their respective banks’ bonuses, as the industry as a whole has contracted in recent years. The banks with the most content employees in terms of bonuses were JPMorgan (28 percent), RBS (27 percent), and Barclays (26 percent).

According to Alice Leguay, co-founder of Emolument, the group responsible for conducting the survey: “High pay does not allay bankers’ frustration with their careers. Banking is no longer perceived as a glamorous job, now highly scrutinized and regulated, with many shackled to it in order to fund their existing lifestyles while awaiting the right opportunity to switch to the hedge fund or private-equity sectors.”

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