The EBA observed a significant increase in the number of high earners across EU banks in 2021

  • Press Release
  • 19 January 2023

The European Banking Authority (EBA) published today its Report on high earners for 2021. The analysis shows a significant increase of the number of individuals working for EU banks and investment firms who received a remuneration of more than EUR 1 million. This increase is linked to the overall good performance of institutions, in particular in the area of investment banking and trading and sales, continuing relocations of staff from the UK to the EU and a general increase in salaries.

In 2021, the number of high earners receiving a remuneration of more than EUR 1 million increased by 41.5%, from 1 383 in 2020 to 1 957 in 2021. This is the highest value for the EU27/EEA since the EBA started the data collection in 2010.

The weighted average ratio of variable to fixed remuneration for all high earners increased from 86.4% in 2020 to 100.6% in 2021. As variable remuneration is linked to the performance of the institution, business line and staff, the good financial performance of the institutions drove the increase of some bonuses. Other relevant factors supporting this trend may be identified in the relief of relevant COVID 19 restrictions and in the continuation of relocation of staff to the EU activities in the context of Brexit.

Legal basis and next steps

This Report has been developed in accordance with Article 75(3) of Directive 2013/36/EU (CRD) and Directive (EU) 2019/2034 (IFD), 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 continue to publish data on high earners annually, to closely monitor and evaluate developments in this area. The EBA will collect data for 2022 based on the revised EBA Guidelines on the data collection exercises regarding high earners under Directive 2013/36/EU and under Directive (EU) 2019/2034.


Notes to editors

Key figures have been visualised in a dynamic way. To facilitate the navigation, please find below the full list of key figures that you can find in the graphs:

Slide 1: Evolution in the number of high earners

Slide 2: Number of high earners (data for 2021) by Member State (EU and EEA) and payment bracket  of one million Euro (e.g. EUR 1 mn to EUR 2 mn)

Slide 3: Ratio between variable and fixed remuneration of high earners by Member State

*For the payment bracket EUR 14 mn to EUR 15 mn, a significant amount of variable remuneration corresponds to one severance payment

Slide 4: Ratio between variable and fixed remuneration of high earners, weighted average return on equity (RoE) and GDP growth


High Earners Report – data as of end 2021

(1.26 MB - PDF) Last update 19 January 2023

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