Salary benchmarking site Emolument.com collected 2015 salary data from 493 associates who work in the front office of London investment banks.

Bonuses and salaries in the banking sector have been the subject of greater government scrutiny since the financial crisis, and Emolument has analyzed pay packets at the Associate level.

American banks generally pay more than European counterparts

As is often the case 3 American banks sit at the top of the list for overall pay packets: JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. JP Morgan pays both the highest average salary at £94,000, and the highest average bonus of £61,500, meaning Associates take home a total of £155,500.

Bonus payments are also high at Morgan Stanley (£60,000) and Goldman Sachs (£57,500), showing that large bonus payments are a part of pay culture in the United States. Base salaries of £89,000 and £85,500 respectively mean that Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are second and third on the list for overall pay packets.

By contrast, European banks tend to pay smaller bonuses, with most below £30k. UBS is the exception, with average bonuses of £60,000. Those bonus payments make UBS the top-paying European bank, with average pay packets of £143,000, equal to Goldman Sachs.

 

banksBonuses significantly lower in Europe

Credit Suisse pays smaller bonuses (£31,000), but the highest base salary of £95,000 bumps the bank up to 5th on the list with a total pay packet of £126,000. Deutsche Bank pays larger than average bonuses for Europe (£42,000), and the average base salary (£82,000) means Associates take home an average of £124,000.

Associates at BNP Paribas are paid the lowest average salary (£76,000) and the lowest average bonus (£29,000), giving them the lowest overall pay packet of £105,000.

In general terms pay league tables correlate with business performance league tables. The relationship leads to a chicken and egg situation in which it is not clear whether top paying banks pay well because they perform strongly, or whether their business performance is strong because large pay packets attract top talent.

 

Bank Average salary Average bonus Total
JP Morgan £94,000 £61,500 £155,500
Morgan Stanley £89,000 £60,000 £149,000
Goldman Sachs £85,500 £57,500 £143,000
UBS £83,000 £60,000 £143,000
Credit Suisse £95,000 £31,000 £126,000
Deutsche Bank £82,000 £42,000 £124,000
Citigroup £87,000 £30,000 £117,000
HSBC £80,000 £37,000 £117,000
Barclays £79,000 £34,000 £113,000
BNP Paribas £76,000 £29,000 £105,000