Happy bankers?

Canary Wharf3London bankers have seen a substantial jump in bonuses this year – but there are high levels of unhappiness with the value.

An average of 38% of bankers from eight banks studied said they were not happy with the amount.

Emolumnent.com gathered bonus details from bankers who voluntarily entered their numbers into the firm’s platform.

An average of 28% of bankers said they were happy with their bonuses, while an average of 33% said they were unsure.

The level of bonuses were: associate £50,000 (€65,490); vice president £110,000; director £93,000; managing director £156,000.

Jefferies had the highest amount of happy bankers, at 40%. Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) had the highest amount of bankers saying they were not happy with their bonuses, at 45%.

Yet median total compensation – salary and bonus – at Jefferies was substantially lower than at BAML – £200,000 versus £160,000.

A reason for this could be that Jeffries was more transparent about how bonuses were paid, with only 20% – much lower than the other banks – of those at the firm saying they were unsure how to perceive their bonuses.

Alice Leguay, chief operating officer and co-founder of Emolumnet.com, said: "Lack of transparency in any organisation and its culture when it comes to discussing bonuses has a huge impact on productivity. No matter how much a bank pays its employees, if the process is shrouded in secrecy, the levels of paranoia and suspicion wipe off goodwill earned through higher bonus payments."

Other banks surveyed were Royal Bank of Canada, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. A total of 1,235 bankers entered their figures.

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