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Experienced city workers feel the bonus squeeze

2 May 2013

Against the backdrop of unrelenting public scrutiny into the bonus culture, banks are continuing to exercise restraint around bonuses with experienced city workers reporting a fall in their payouts compared to last year, according to new research from Hays, the leading recruiting expert.

The survey of over 1,000 London city workers found that over half (55%) said their bonus had either decreased or they didn’t receive one compared to last year, with 45% of those with over 15 years experience seeing a decrease in their bonus level. According to the results, experienced finance workers were most likely to see a squeeze in their bonus with 44% of those with over 10 years of experience reporting a decrease in their bonus compared to 27% of those with less than 10 years experience. As a result, almost half (44%) of all city workers said they would start looking for a new job.

Geoff Fawcett, Director of Hays Financial Markets, says, “Without a doubt, the days of the big bonus culture have definitely come to an end and they are unlikely to return anytime soon. According to our survey, it is those employees with over 15 years experience who have seen the biggest squeeze in their bonus pots. However, there is still a place for bonuses providing they are geared to medium or long-term goals. The challenge for banks continues to be striking the right balance between acting responsibly and retaining their top talent so that their businesses remain competitive in the long term.”

When asked about satisfaction levels with their bonus payout, men were more likely to be dissatisfied with their bonus compared to women. While employees with between 6-10 years experience were also the most dissatisfied with their bonus. However, the highest level of satisfaction with their payouts was among corporate governance professionals (36%).

Fawcett comments, “Our research shows that corporate governance professionals are least likely to see a decrease in their bonus with nearly half (49%) of these people reporting an increase or no change in their bonus level. With regulation top of the agenda in the banking industry, the demand for specialists in compliance, risk and internal audit remains strong as banks try to keep hold of key workers so they can meet their regulatory obligations and avoid fines.”


About the survey

The findings are based on an online survey of over 1,200 London City employees in February 2013.
To read the survey visit:

About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 30 June 2012 the Group employed 7,800 staff operating from 245 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2012:

– the Group reported net fees of £734 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £128 million;
– the Group placed around 55,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 182,000 people into temporary assignments;
– 33% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific, 36% in Continental Europe & RoW (CERoW) and 31% in the United Kingdom & Ireland;
– the temporary placement business represented 56% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 44% of net fees;
– Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA

For further press information please contact:
Deepa Bose
T. 020 7200 3760