Wednesday, September 19 15:51:08
Britain's financial workers watched their bonuses fall to 12,000 pounds on average last year, down about 11 percent from a year earlier, as regulation and tough economic conditions squeezed the sector, official data showed.
The handouts were still more than eight times the national average, according to the figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today.
British banks like Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland have been under pressure to stop a high-reward, high-risk culture that was blamed for the financial crisis. Pay structures have also been changed, with many firms lifting base salaries while cutting bonuses.
The total amount of bonuses paid out to British financial service staff fell to 13 billion pounds in the latest financial year, down almost a third from the peak of 19 billion pounds four years ago, the ONS said.
Banks are also trying to cut costs to lift profitability as tougher regulations and a slowdown in investment banking bite.
Up to 15 percent of the 500,000 jobs in investment banking globally could disappear in the next five years as the euro zone crisis and stiffer regulation hammers revenue, profitability and risk-taking, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants said on.
The financial sector accounted for more than a third of the 37 billion pounds paid in bonuses across Britain in the year to the end of March, even though the industry accounts for just 4 percent of workers, the ONS said.
London, one of the world's top financial centres, is also home to many of the most senior and highest paid bankers at global banks like Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.
The total amount of bonuses handed out across all British sectors was actually three percent higher last year than in 2010/11 - thanks to a 12 percent rise in payments from industries outside finance, led by the professional, scientific, technical and information technology industries.
Bonuses averaged just 1,400 pounds across all the country's sectors. Workers in mining got the highest bonuses outside finance, getting an average of 6,900 pounds last year, up from 6,300 in 2010/11. (C ) Reuters