UK home to 80% of top-earning European bankers

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Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “UK home to 80% of top-earning European bankers” was written by Jill Treanor City editor, for theguardian.com on Thursday 2nd February 2017 11.00 UTC

More than 4,000 City-based financiers were paid more than €1m (£850,000) in 2015 – including one who received nearly €34m.

The latest data from regulator the European Banking Authority shows that 80% of the financiers across the EU who were classified as high earners – receiving more than €1m – were based in the UK.

Across the EU, 5,124 of financiers – bankers, fund managers and compliance experts – received €1m, of which 4,133 were based in the UK, the EU’s biggest financial centre.

The EU-wide rise from 3,865 in 2014 was in part fuelled by staff paid in sterling having their pay translated into euros, in line with EBA requirements.

Of the UK’s high earners 2,927 received between €1m and €2m in salary and bonuses. The pay is disclosed in €1m increments and shows six individuals received more than €20m. This includes one whose €199,000 salary rocketed to €33.7m after bonuses were included, and another who received €28m. Both worked in asset management rather than investment banking, traditionally regarded as the sector with the biggest bonuses.

Detail about pay deals for senior fund managers is less common although there have been some examples. Richard Woolnough, of Prudential’s fund management arm M&G, has been revealed as receiving £17.5m in 2013 and £15.5m in 2014.

The EBA’s pay disclosures follow rule changes introduced since the 2008 banking crisis, which also led to the introduction of the bonus cap in 2014. This limits bonuses to 100% of salary or 200% if shareholders approve. Waivers have been offered by their local regulators to fund management firms, the EBA said.

Details of the scale of the pay deals on offer come as the role of the City faces scrutiny in the UK’s forthcoming negotiations to leave the EU. Other financial centres in the remaining 27 countries are hoping to attract financiers displaced by Brexit.

The EBA, currently based in London but which will vacate its Canary Wharf office after Brexit, published data showing that 279 financiers in Germany received more than €1m, the highest receiving just under €14m. In France, 178 received more than €1m, with the highest receiving under €5m.

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