The European Banking Authority (EBA) published its report on high earners for 2019. The report analyzes the data for 2019, which the competent authorities provided, and compares it to the 2018 data. The analysis shows that, in 2019, 4,963 individuals working for EU banks received a remuneration of more than EUR 1 million, which is mostly the same as in 2018. The report has been developed in accordance with Article 75(3) of the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD).
In 2019, the largest share of high earners of 3,519 (71% of the total number of high earners) was located in the UK. Most of the member states across EU registered a slight increase in the number of high earners, particularly Germany, France, and Italy. The increase of high earners resulted mostly from the impact of the relocation of staff from the UK to EU27 as part of Brexit preparations. In addition, for some institutions, the overall good financial results, particularly in corporate banking, and the ongoing restructuring and consolidations, which led to higher than usual severance payments, played an important role in the overall increase of high earners. The average ratio between the variable and fixed remuneration for high earners decreased from 139% in 2018 to 129% in 2019. In the business area of asset management, the average ratio of variable to fixed remuneration decreased from 378% in 2018 to 339% in 2019, still far exceeding the maximum ratio of 200%. This is mainly due to differences in the national implementation of CRD, that in many cases allows for waivers of some provisions when certain criteria are met. Following the amendments of the CRD, which started to apply as of the end of 2020, a higher degree of harmonization is expected.
The report includes data reported by UK institutions for high earners, as during the transitional period, UK institutions continued reporting data on high earners at EU consolidation level, covering all subsidiaries and branches established in EU member states. EBA will continue to benchmark remuneration trends biannually (e.g. for the performance years 2019 and 2020, a benchmarking exercise will take place in 2021 and will be published in the first quarter 2022). In addition, EBA will continue to publish data on high earners annually to closely monitor and evaluate developments in this area. The next report based on 2020 data will no longer include data for the UK. Institutions’ preparation for the UK withdrawal from the EU has affected the distribution of high earners across the EU with a number of high earners relocating from the UK to the EU.
Keywords: Europe, EU, Banking, High Earners Data, Remuneration Practices, CRD IV, Operational Risk, Benchmarking Exercise, Governance, EBA
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