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Trading jobs: High pay for Deutsche Bank rates traders quite standard

Remember those rates traders at Deutsche Bank? Those managing directors (MDs) who were earning £878k to £3m ($1.4m to $6.5m)? And those junior rates traders who were earning around £280k ($457k)?

It turns out they weren't that unusual.

Yes, the Deutsche rates MDs were paid a bit more than average, but new figures suggest rates traders are paid unusually well. This remains the case, even though banks (like Credit Suisse) have been pulling back from the rates trading business and even though G10 rates revenues have reportedly fallen 45% in the past two years. 

The figures, which are the latest from, the real time pay data website, suggest that London-based managing directors in rates trading earn an average of £696k a year. By comparison, impoverished managing directors in FX trading earn an average of £363k a year. Only senior credit traders are up there with the rates professionals - they get £670k a year.

How can this be? Rates traders have been at the forefront of banks' redundancy programmes since 2013. Banks are pulling back from G10 rates trading as capital requirements have increased and rates revenues have plummeted as volatility has disappeared. Meanwhile, margins are under attack from attempts to push over-the-counter (OTC) rates trades onto centralized exchanges and clearing platforms. So, why are rates traders still paid so well?

Robert Benson, Emolument's CEO, suggests it might have something to do with complexity of the rates market. "Rates and credit are typically more complex products, with higher margins, and this may explain why remuneration is significantly higher," he says. This is true. High pay for rates traders may also be a hangover from the recent past. As JPMorgan pointed out in its 2013 investor day, rates revenues exploded between 2006 and 2012 and London is the world's leading centre for trading in OTC rates derivatives. Meanwhile, a report in April by the CME Group suggested that investors are proving slow to move away from high margin OTC rates products and into exchange traded interest rate futures. In the circumstances, high pay makes sense.

Nonetheless, rates pay is likely to fall in the coming bonus round. Coalition thinks banks' G10 rates trading revenues fell by another 15% year-on-year in the first half of 2014, so that's hardly a recipe for higher bonuses. By comparison, credit trading bonuses are likely to increase this year - credit and structured product teams have been having a good year.  FX bonuses are likely to remain depressed - especially following today's announcement of £2bn in fines for banks involved in FX fixing. 

Pay for commodities traders:

Analyst: £49k

Associate: £138k

Vice President (VP): £177k

Director: £307k

Managing Director (MD): £573k

Pay for FX traders: 

Analyst: £57k

Associate: £89k

Vice President (VP): £157k

Director: £252k

Managing Director (MD): £363k

Pay for credit traders:

Analyst: £58k

Associate: £104k

Vice President (VP): £191k

Director: £344k

Managing Director (MD): £670k

Pay for rates traders:

Analyst: £57k

Associate: £115k

Vice President (VP): £232k

Director: £300k

Managing Director (MD): £696k


Related articles:

London: where the $$m rates trading jobs have coalesced

New figures show junior rates traders at Deutsche Bank earn £280k, senior rates traders earn £3m

Lansdowne Partners ramps up pay, ‘London whale’ hedge fund not quite as buoyant



AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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