In the banking world, differences in pay among firms generally becomes wider as seniority increases.
To find which banks pay their UK staff the best, we used data provided by salary-benchmarking site Emolument to compare the average annual pay — combining base salaries and bonuses — of associates.
Associates are mid-level employees who usually have at least a few years of experience under their belts, which means they’re usually still in their 20s.
The figures are taken from a study of associates working in the investment banking, markets, and brokerage areas of the banks.
The data highlights some interesting information about bankers’ pay in the UK. For example, Bank of America associates take home the biggest average salary, but UBS employees have the biggest bonuses.
19. Santander: £86,000 ($130,000) — Of the major banks Emolument collects data on, Santander is at the bottom of the pile in terms of bonuses and salary. On average, associates takes home a £62,000 ($94,000) salary and a bonus of around £24,000 ($36,000).
18. Commerzbank: £87,000 ($132,000) — Germany’s Commerzbank just manages to avoid the crown of stingiest bank, paying its associates the same basic salary as Santander, but £1,000 ($1,520) more in bonuses.
17. UniCredit: £90,000 ($137,000) — Italy’s biggest banking group gives one of the smallest bonuses, just £21,000 ($32,000), but makes up slightly with an average salary of £69,000 ($105,000).
16. BNP Paribas: £91,000 ($138,000) — Associates at BNP can expect to take home an average salary of £67,000 ($102,000), topped up with a healthy bonus of around £24,000 ($36,000).
15. RBS: £94,000 ($143,000) — RBS was criticised after the financial crisis as one of the worst offenders when it came to excessive bonuses, and it looks like they listened. Associates at the bank get a smaller bonus than anyone else on this list — £17,000 ($26,000) — but a big salary of £77,000 ($117,000) helps us not to feel too sorry for them.
14. ING: £102,000 ($155,000) — Only Santander and Commerzbank pay lower than ING’s £66,000 ($100,000) basic salary. The Dutch bank makes up for it with a healthy bonus of £36,000 ($55,000).
13. Credit Agricole: £102,000 ($155,000) — Credit Agricole staff generally make around the same as associates at ING, but with a bigger salary (£74,000 [$112,000]) and a smaller bonus (£28,000 [$43,000]).
12. Societe Generale: £103,000 ($156,000) — Soc Gen just pips Credit Agricole as the best-paying French bank, giving its associates a £72,000 ($109,000) basic salary and a £31,000 ($47,000) bonus.
11. Barclays: £108,000 ($164,000) — The bank, which just appointed Jes Staley as its new CEO, gives associates a middling salary of £77,000 ($117,000), along with an average bonus of roughly £31,000 ($47,000) per year.
10. HSBC: £113,000 ($171,000) — Emolument’s data officially makes HSBC the UK’s best-paying bank. The average salary of associates is the same as those at Barclays, but HSBC workers earn a £36,000 ($55,000) bonus, more than their London rivals.
9. Deutsche Bank: £121,000 ($184,000) — The first of the really big payers, Deutsche associates split their total earnings between an £82,000 ($125,000) basic salary and a £39,000 ($59,000) bonus.
8. Citigroup: £127,000 ($193,000) — Citi gets the not-so-auspicious honour of being the lowest-paying American bank on this list. Associates top up their £86,000 ($131,000) salaries with bonuses of around £41,000 ($62,000).
7. Nomura: £129,000 ($196,000) — The only bank on this list based in Asia gives its UK associates a higher salary than Goldman Sachs, £84,000 ($127,000). It lags behind Goldman on bonuses, however, paying out just £45,000 ($68,000).
6. Credit Suisse: £130,000 ($197,000) — One of two Swiss banks on this list, Credit Suisse pays out the third-highest salary of any bank in the UK, £90,000 ($137,000). Bonuses of just £40,000 ($60,000) mean that it doesn’t quite compete with the big boys in terms of total pay.
5. Goldman Sachs: £135,000 ($205,000) — Perhaps surprisingly for probably the world’s most prestigious bank, Goldman just cracks the top five here in the UK. Associates earn an average salary of £82,000 ($124,000), topped up with a healthy £53,000 ($81,000) bonus.
4. Bank of America Merrill Lynch: £142,000 ($215,000) — Bank of America’s associates take home the highest basic salary on this list, £95,000 ($144,000). The bank is kept off the top spot thanks to paying relatively meagre bonuses: £47,000 ($71,000).
3. UBS: £158,000 ($240,000) — UBS is the best-paying bank in Europe. It pays its UK associates the highest bonuses: £71,000 ($108,000). Salaries of roughly £86,000 ($132,000) mean that working at UBS is a pretty sweet deal.
2. Morgan Stanley: £158,000 ($240,000) — The Wall Street giant is pretty kind to its UK staff. Morgan Stanley ranks ahead of UBS by virtue of its higher basic salary. Associates are given £90,000 ($137,000) per year, along with a bonus of £68,000 ($103,000).
1. JPMorgan: £158,000 ($240,000) — JPMorgan takes the crown as the highest-paying bank in Britain. Overall, it may pay the same as UBS and Morgan Stanley, but no bank pays a higher basic salary. Associates take home an average of £93,000 ($141,000) per year, topped up with a £65,000 ($99,000) bonus. So there you have it. If you want to make £158,000 a year, give JPMorgan a call.