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March 14, 2019

UK dominates EU millionaire banker list

By Asena Degirmenci

London continues to hold first place in the official ranking of Europe’s best paid bankers, as data reveals that the largest population of high earners are located in the UK.

Three-quarters of the EUs best-paid financers are based in the UK.

Despite fears of the UK’s decision to leave the EU, figures from the European Banking Authority (EBA) confirm of the country’s leading position in Europe’s financial industry.

The number of bankers in the EU paid over €1m a year rose from 6% to 4,859 in 2017. According to the EBA, 3,567 of the high earners are located in the UK with Germany coming in second at 390 and France in third at 233.

In order to prepare for the disruption of Brexit, many banks have since opened new operations elsewhere throughout the EU, so as not to be included in the EBA’s figures.

Over half of British high earners work in investment banking, with the top earning investment banker making €17.8m.

Research last week showed that London was the world’s leading ‘wealth centre’, with the largest volume of UHNWIs.

Most high earners were remunerated within the income bracket of €1m and €2m. The greatest income bracket observed was that of a UK money manager who received €41m—the highest level since 2014, according to EBA.

Since the introduction of the European bankers’ bonus cap in 2014, the EBA had noted that variable to fixed remuneration had fallen. The UK was opposed to the bonus cap, saying it would limit payouts to 100% of salary or 200% with explicit approval from shareholders.

Britain was among several other EU members that did not extend the cap.

Since 2010 the number of high earners has increased by more than one third —commensurate to 1,432 people. According to the EBA, the increase in high-paid financers in the UK in 2017 can be attributed to changes in the exchange rate between the pound and the euro.

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