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

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The European Banking Authority (EBA) published today (19 January) 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 €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 €1m 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 €1m or more per financial year (high earners) in pay brackets €1m, 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.

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