EU millionaire bankers grow in numbers, EBA reports | News | DW | 12.03.2019
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EU millionaire bankers grow in numbers, EBA reports

Despite a cap on bonuses for EU bankers, the number of high earners has increased by over 40 percent since 2010. The UK, home to thousands of millionaire bankers, has only seen a "small increase," likely due to Brexit.

The number of high-earners in the EU's banking industry rose by more than 5 percent in 2017 despite caps on bonuses, the European Banking Authority said in a report with its latest figures, published online Monday.

"The number of high earners receiving remuneration of more than €1 million ($1.13 million) increased slightly from 4,597 to 4,859," the EBA said. It noted that it represented an increase of more than 40 percent compared to 2010, the year the euro crisis took shape.

Read more: Brexit: Is the end nigh?

'Small increase' in UK

The UK has the largest number of high earners, comprising more than 70 percent of all bankers making more than €1 million per year in the EU.

"The largest population of high earners in the EU, of 3,567 is located in the United Kingdom," the EBA said. Germany trails in second, with only 390 high-earners.

However, the EU's banking regulator said that only a "small increase" was witnessed in the UK compared to 2016, increasing by only 38 new high earners. Observers have said that the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum, in which British citizens narrowly voted in favor of leaving the EU, may have played a role.

Read more: Opinion: What happened to Brexit architect David Cameron?

Infographic showing top EU countries with high-earning bankers

London loses

In 2014, EU regulation went into effect that stipulated a banker's bonus could not exceed one year's salary.

The UK vigorously fought Brussels over the legislation, saying it threatened financial stability and made London a less competitive banking center. At the time, London was home to 40 percent of all EU financial services.

But five years later, another factor has made the British capital significantly less attractive for the financial sector. A report published on Monday by the London-based think tank New Financial said that 275 financial firms are in the process of transferring more than €1 trillion worth of funds, assets and staff to other EU countries due to uncertainty over Brexit.

Read more: Worried about Brexit, Brits stockpile food, supplies

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