April 10, 2018 / 10:54 AM / 5 months ago

EU has 4,600 bankers, asset managers earning over €1m

LONDON, April 10 (IFR) - More than three-quarters of the highest-paid people in banking and asset management in Europe worked in the UK in 2016 even after a big move in exchange rates saw the number of high earners in London drop.

Figures released on Tuesday by the European Banking Authority showed 4,597 people in the industry earned €1m or more in Europe, down 11% from 2015.

The highest earner was paid €33.2m. He or she worked in asset management in the UK.

The highest-paid person in a management function in 2016 received €25.3m and the highest-paid investment banker got €18m. Another 14 investment bankers and nine managers in the UK were each paid more than €10m.

The fall in the number of €1m-plus earners was mainly due to changes in the exchange rate between sterling and the euro, and partially reversed a 33% jump in high earners in 2015, which was also fuelled by exchange rate moves.

The longer-term trend for pay is upwards, however: there were 1,170 more people earning over €1m in 2016 than in 2010, representing a 34% rise over six years, despite efforts by politicians and regulators to curb pay.

Some 77% of the 2016 high earners, or 3,529 people, were in the UK, showing the dominance of London as Europe’s financial centre.

The UK tally was down 15% from 2015, but it was still 14 times the next highest country - Germany - where there were 253 high earners, down 9% from 2015.

The number of high earners in Spain jumped 21% from 2015 to 152 and in France there were 205 high earners in 2016, up 15% on the year. Italy was the fifth country to have more than 100 high earners with 172, down 1%. There were 45 in Denmark, 38 in the Netherlands and 33 in Ireland.

The EBA releases the data annually, but always for a year in arrears.

JUMP IN PAY-OFFS

The EBA said 145 people received substantial severance pay in 2016, a sharp jump from 54 people the year before. The average payoff for those people in 2016 was €1.37m.

The payments were mostly to executive directors and to investment bankers. One person received severance pay of €14.7m.

The data showed 2,414 of the high earners worked in investment banking, down from 2,647 in 2015 and accounting for 53% of the total.

There were 799 in management functions and 501 in asset management.

The report showed the percentage of remuneration paid in bonuses compared with fixed pay is falling, possibly due to the impact of the bonus cap imposed on the industry.

For people earning €1m or more, the average ratio between variable pay and fixed pay was 104% in 2016, down from 127% in 2014, the EBA said. For all identified staff - or those in risk-taking positions - the bonus/fixed pay ratio was 57% in 2016, down from 62% in 2015 and 66% two years earlier. (Reporting by Steve Slater)

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