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The Globe and Mail

Junior bankers hardest hit by pay cuts: U.K. survey

Recent high payouts for staff at UBS AG, Barclays Bank PLC and other banks have attracted a fresh wave of anger from investors.


The most junior employees at banks are suffering the biggest impact from cuts in pay, according to a survey of U.K. financial services staff.

Financial services professionals with less than two years' experience saw a 21-per-cent drop in pay in 2012 compared with 2011, according to an annual compensation survey by financial recruitment site eFinancialCareers.

That was more than double a 10-per-cent drop in pay across the industry, according to the survey of 767 U.K. financial professionals between Jan. 14 and March 5.

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EFinancialCareers said bonuses accounted for 44 per cent of pay across the industry last year, unchanged from 2011 but down from 51 per cent in 2010. For staff who had been at firms less than two years, bonuses dropped to 24 per cent of their pay, compared to 43 per cent a year ago.

EFinancialCareers said middle office workers escaped the worst of the cuts and their average pay rose by 3 per cent on the year. Front and back office workers both reported a 12-per-cent drop in pay.

Bankers' bonuses are under scrutiny after the European Union said it plans to limit awards to equal their base salary, or two times salary with approval from investors.

Supporters of the move say banks have failed to tackle the industry's compensation culture, and recent high payouts for staff at UBS AG, Barclays Bank PLC and other banks have attracted a fresh wave of anger.

Two in five of those surveyed said they could change jobs to find better opportunities or improve pay, but only 5 per cent of those considering switching firms said they would change the industry altogether, eFinancialCareers said.

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