The UK has the most bankers earning EUR 1 million or above in the EU, according to data from the European Banking Authority (EBA).
There were 3,529 high earners at the of 2016, defined by the EBA as those earning EUR 1 million or above, in the UK banking sector. This represented 76.77 percent of the total number of high earners in the banking sector across the entire EU.
The data, which has just been published, reveals that the total number of high earners in the sector has decreased over recent years. At the end of 2016, there were 4,597 in the EU banking sector, own 10.6 percent from the end of 2015 when there were 5,142.
Despite dominating the market, the UK has also recorded a decrease. At the end of 2016, there were 14.61 percent less high earners in UK banks then at the end of 2015 when there were 4,133.
However, while the overall number of high earners dropped the majority of individual nations in the EU actually recorded an increase in those earning EUR 1 million or above in the banking sector.
“In most other countries - except for Germany, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein and Portugal, where the number of high earners slightly decreased - the number of high earners increased,” the EBA said. “In particular, data for Spain show an increase from 126 high earners in 2015 to 152 in 2016 (20.63 percent). In France, the number increased from 178 in 2015 to 205 in 2016 (15.17 percent). The percentage of high earners who were identified staff slightly increased, to 89.47 percent, in 2016 (2014, 86.68 percent; 2015, 85.73 percent).”
The report suggests that the fall in the overall number is driven by “changes in the exchange rate between EUR and GBP.”
Following the introduction of the so-called bonus cap, a maximum ratio of variable to fixed remuneration of 100 percent (or 200% with shareholders’ approval, where implemented), the average effective ratio of variable to fixed remuneration for all identified staff continued to decrease. It was 57.1 percent in 2016, 62.2 percent in 2015 and 65.5 percent in 2014.
The EBA also said that the supervisory framework for remuneration practices is “still not sufficiently harmonised.” It singled out the differences in application of deferral and payout in instruments among Member States and among institutions as a particular point of concern. “This is mainly due to differences in the national implementation of CRD IV, which in many cases allows for waivers of these provisions when certain criteria are met,” it said.
28 Member States of the EU and three member countries of the EEA participated in the data collection, high earners were reported for only 23 Member States. In 10 of those, the number of high earners was fewer than ten.