How do Bankers Cope with a Great Bonus…and a Bad One

Hefty bonuses to bankers are seen by recipients as a positive affirmation of their skills. A recent survey found that more than half of bankers who get financial rewards at their respective companies in 2013 credited those bonuses as an earned payment for their personal performancesA tad over 20 percent saw their pay incentives as a reward for better performance by the banks. The remainder of the bankers credited career moves and internal structural changes within banks as the reason for bonuses. There’s another side to this coin, though.

Only 10 percent of bankers who suffered a bonus drop blamed themselves or their personal performance. This view can be broken down by regions:

  • Only eight percent of U.S. bankers blamed themselves for a smaller paycheck.
  •  That personal blame fell to only two or three percent in Australia and Singapore.
  •  UK bankers appeared most introspective with 10 percent of Briton bankers hanging the blame on themselves. 

Banks themselves received the bulk of the blame for decreased bonus payments. Here are the numbers:

  • Fifty-one percent of bankers in the U.S. and Singapore pointed to poor performance by their respective banks as a reason for decreased bonuses.
  •  Less than 10 percent blamed individual departments within their banks.
  •  Only 41 percent of UK bankers cast blame onto the banks they work for as culprits in declining bonus payments.

Analysts suggest that the numbers indicate that UK bankers are more introspective. Other factors may be at play, though, when looking at the UK. Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, has been quite open in his condemnation of large banker bonuses in Britain.  Appearing recently on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Carney voiced concern over compensation packages to bankers who took questionable risks or engaged in improper conduct, such as the mis-selling of interest rate swaps to businesses.  Carney opined that compensation should be delayed or even taken back if it can be proved that an individual has undertaken unnecessary risks or behaved improperly. This talk of returning bonuses has most likely cowed UK bankers into either silence or meek assent.

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2 responses to “How do Bankers Cope with a Great Bonus…and a Bad One

  1. Pingback: Hedge Fund Divorce Might cost $1.4bn | Alpha Banker·

  2. Pingback: Ex-Goldman Trader: “My $8.25 Million Bonus is Too Low” | Alpha Banker·

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