EBA observes a significant increase of high earners in EU banks

02 February 2017

The European Banking Authority (EBA) published today its annual Report on high earners in EU banks, which shows a significant increase in their number in 2015 (+33.04% compared to 2014). The Report contains data covering all staff of institutions in the EU and EU branches of third country institutions receiving a total remuneration of one million euro or above. The data is available in aggregate format at the EU level, for each Member State, and by payment bracket within each Member State. The EBA will publish this year the report on High Earners with data for the financial year 2015.

The number of high earners receiving remuneration of more than EUR 1 million increased significantly from 3 865 in 2014 to 5 142 in 2015 mainly driven by changes in the exchange rate between EUR and GBP. The largest population of high earners in the EU of 4 133 is located in the United Kingdom, accounting for 80.4% of the total number of high earners (+41.25% compared to 2014) and most of them are remunerated in GBP. In most of the other Member States, the number of high earners also slightly increased.

The percentage of high earners that were identified as staff whose professional activities have a material impact on the institution's risk profile (identified staff) remained stable with 87% in 2014 and 86% in 2015. This confirms the effectiveness of the Regulatory Technical Standard (RTS) on identified staff which came into force in 2014 and introduced a common definition of identified staff, based on qualitative and quantitative criteria, in order to better identify those staff that have an impact on the risk profile of institutions. However, not all high earners are identified as 'material risk takers'. The proportion of high earners considered to have a material impact on the institution's risk profile within the business area of asset management has slightly increased compared to 2014, but remains relatively low at 64%.

The average ratio of variable to fixed remuneration for all high earners increased from 127% in 2014 to 147% in 2015. The ratio largely exceeded the maximum ratio of 200% set out in the CRD IV within asset management, where it reached 468% due to waivers granted in several Member States for this specific business area, although the CRD IV remuneration requirements are to be applied on a consolidated basis.

Legal basis and next steps

This report has been developed in line with paragraph (3) of Article 75 of Directive 2013/36/EU (CRD IV), which mandates the EBA to collect information on the number of individuals per institution that are remunerated EUR one million or more per financial year (high earners) in pay brackets EUR one million, including the business area involved and the main elements of salary, bonus, long-term award and pension contribution.

The EBA will publish this year the report on High Earners data for the financial year 2015. The report looking at 2016 figures will be published by the beginning of 2018 and will be combined with the benchmarking of remuneration trends for 2015 and 2016. The EBA will continue to regularly benchmark remuneration trends, and to monitor and evaluate new developments in this area.


Press contacts:

Franca Rosa Congiu

E-mail: press@eba.europa.eu - Tel: +44 (0) 207 382 1772