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Banking pay in Europe: Paris beats Frankfurt and Milan

Paris has the biggest banking superstars, the European Banking Authority’s report on high earners has revealed.

The report, which was published earlier today, found that France had the highest average banking salary for earners above €1m of all major European financial centres (not including London).

The announcement might not come as a huge surprise. Paris has been quietly positioning itself as the centre of Europe’s trading, with Bank of America, Citi, and Morgan Stanley all making major additions to its teams in the city of light. Even Deutsche Bank has moved traders to the city.

Surprisingly, perhaps Madrid managed to beat both Milan and Frankfurt on the same metric. Credit Suisse has a trading floor in Madrid and Morgan Stanley’s new MD list featured in the Spanish city, but rather than CS traders the Spanish capital's number was almost certainly skewed by a single enormous severance payment to a single enormous banker - almost definitely Andrea Orcel, the UniCredit CEO who negotiated a $76m severance package when Santander reneged on its offer to make him CEO.

Although Frankfurt lost out on bragging rights, Germany still has one thing going for it. It has, by some margin, the most earners-over-€1m on the continent - around as many as France and Spain combined.

The number of people earning over €1m in Europe's financial centres increased 40% in 2021 vs. 2020, despite the pandemic. The EBA says this was down to “the good financial performance of the institutions" rather than the displacement of staff from London. Now that the UK has left the EU, London is no longer included in the EBA's study. Historically, though, it had nearly 15 times as many senior bankers as Paris, its next closest rival.

Investment bankers represented nearly 40% of high earners in the list, the largest individual profession represented. Managing board executives were the only group that came anywhere near, representing approximately 30% of the list. Sorry consultants – you didn’t stand a chance.

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AUTHORZeno Toulon
  • Th
    26 July 2023

    It will be interesting to have the numbers after tax, as you may know France is the Best country if you like tax....

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