Goldman tops 2015 City of London bank bonus charts

Wed May 27, 2015 6:47am EDT
 
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By Jamie McGeever

LONDON (Reuters) - Bankers at Goldman Sachs received the highest bonuses in London's banking industry this year but bonuses paid out by the top 10 banks were down overall compared to last year, a survey published on Wednesday showed.

Goldman Sachs bankers received an average bonus of 194,000 pounds ($300,000), some 14 percent more than their peers at second-placed Morgan Stanley, according to salary benchmarking site Emolument.com.

The top five in the survey were all U.S. banks. They paid notably higher bonuses than the leading European banks, in some cases nearly double. Other banks in the top five were Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan and Citigroup.

Last year, Goldman was ranked 8th in the table and Morgan Stanley was ranked 6th. Citi wasn't even in last year's top 10.

Goldman paid the largest bonuses this year but JP Morgan's overall compensation, including salary and bonuses, was higher, Emolument said.

"Continuing a trend established in the last few years, we expect to see base salaries shoot up in order to circumvent bonus cap regulations, especially at director and managing director level," said Emolument.com's Alice Leguay.

The European Union's banking watchdog is seeking to impose rules on lenders aimed at stopping bankers from taking excessive risks to earn big bonuses.

The British government has opposed the new rules, saying it will drive up fixed pay. But many citizens support a cap in bonuses amid a wave of popular anger over rising income inequality and the way risky lending contributed to the 2008 financial crash.   Continued...

 
A worker passes through a walkway in an office of Goldman Sachs in London April 20, 2010.  REUTERS/Toby Melville