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Majority of high-earning EU bank staff are in UK, says report

The UK had the highest population of banking staff earning over €1 million a year in the EU in 2013, followed by Germany, France and Italy, according to a new report. 10 Sep 2015

The European Banking Authority (EBA) has released a report looking at benchmarking of remuneration practices across the EU and the remuneration of staff who received €1 million or more in 2013.

The number of people earning €1 million or more per year in the EU fell from 3,530 in 2012 to 3,178 in 2013. Of the 2013 figure, 2,086 were in the UK and paid in pounds sterling. Germany had 397 top earners, France 162 and Italy 138.

The fall in the overall number of high earners reflected a number of factors, including changes in the exchange rate between the euro and the pound sterling, the EBA said.

The proportion of staff considered to have "a material impact on the institution's risk profile" or to be "identified staff" differed widely between member states in 2013. This is likely to change in future reports due to the adoption of regulatory technical standards (RTS) on identified staff from 2014, the EBA said.

Under the RTS, all staff who earn €500,000 or more in a financial year will be classified as identified staff, unless they are excluded by additional analysis. Those who earn over €1 million will only be excluded in exceptional circumstances, the EBA said.

The ratio of variable to fixed remuneration paid to identified staff reduced in 2013 to 104%. This will continue to fall given the introduction of the 'bonus cap' which limits variable remuneration to 100% of fixed remuneration – or 200% where approved by shareholders, the EBA said.

A report on 2014 figures is expected at the end of 2015. That report will show the full impact of new rules and regulatory technical standards, the authority said.

The EBA is required to benchmark remuneration trends across the European Union and to publish aggregated data on people earning €1 million or more per financial year. National competent authorities are responsible for collecting the information and submitting it to the EBA.