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Top bankers can earn a lot in Madrid - but no one else does

Spain has a thriving investment banking scene – but it’s not benefiting everyone equally.

That’s not exactly new. The pay hierarchy in banking is generally well known, with middle market banks not paying as well as the big banks, which in turn pay less than the elite boutiques. But the pay disparity between banks in Spain is… Perhaps a bit more extreme.

A compensation study by professional forum M&A community and software company (yes, all those things) iDeals, which received over 300 responses from Spain-based bankers, offers insight into the country’s compensation packages.

Spanish banking salaries – which were generally flat, with a few notable exceptions, between 2021 and 2022 – at top tier banks were more or less on par with London. This is to be expected, as a number of the big banks have opened or expanded their footprint in the country, including Citi (which is living its best Kokomo life).

Total compensation (salary + bonus) is a bit harder to calculate using the data, but some broad ranges can be extracted. It seems that an exceptional senior (third year) VP in Spain might expect to earn up to €713k ($784k) in total compensation, which is pretty much on par with US bank pay packets.

Outside of “tier 1”, however, banking pay in Spain is far off expectations elsewhere. At a “tier 3” bank, which presumably is the sort of institution that still uses an abacus and values various East India companies, a Spanish third-year VP only earns up to €153k ($168k), which is what a lot of first year analysts can expect to see in the US.

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AUTHORZeno Toulon
  • im
    27 April 2023

    In addition to joking about abacus etc. it would be good if you check data before posting it. That table has key mistakes which makes it, at least partially, invalid - maybe the sample of respondents for some segments is biased or too small -. For instance, in Tier 3, Associates 3 are making more than VP 3, nonsense. Again in Tier 3, VP 3rd year are making HALF what a VP 2nd year would make. So it gives a sense of packages for Tier 1 and 2, but Tier 3 data is wrong, to my view.

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