Nearly half (49%) of UK bankers and finance professionals received a bonus increase last year, according to a survey from eFinancialCareers.com.
The research, which surveyed 2,511 financial professionals in the UK, US, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia, found that bonuses levels in London were among the highest in the financial centres polled.
Of the 654 bankers and financial professionals surveyed in the UK, only 25% said bonuses had decreased. Across the board, bonuses in the sector are up by 5% in the UK, with the highest average bonuses being paid to hedge fund and trading specialists.
Among UK bankers and financial professionals who received an increase, the average bonus payment received by front office professionals was £84,409, with middle office professionals receiving £31,705, and back office workers £18,895.
In the US, average bonuses are down by 5%. In Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia, bonuses have increased for 59% and decreased for 16%, but the size of average bonus payments is typically lower than the UK.†
For those in the UK who have seen a bonus increase, the bonus element accounts on average for no more than 32% of overall compensation, compared to 28% in the US and Asia respectively.
However, for top performers in the UK who have seen a bonus increase, bonuses accounted for up to 40% of total compensation, up from no more than 32% last year.†
The majority of respondents in the UK and Asia said they still receive all of their bonuses in cash with few (less than 10% in the UK) having had more than 25% of their bonus payment deferred.
James Bennett, managing director, EMEA and APAC at eFinancialCareers.com, said: “Retention of key staff is going to be a dominant theme during 2011 as financial institutions tackle the challenge of meeting compensation guidelines set by regulators and the earnings’ expectations of employees.
“We see this issue being particularly acute amongst younger staff as our data shows the largest bonuses are typically being paid out to those professionals with 15 years or more experience. Less-experienced staff have typically received significantly lower bonuses.”
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