If you're based in London or New York, Frankfurt may seem a mere backwater to your raging torrent of global deals and liquidity. That may be so, but to write-off Frankfurt bankers as provincialists would be a mistake. They work just as hard as junior bankers on Wall Street and in the City and they're paid just as well - if not better, for their efforts.
The high pay in Frankfurt phenomenon was highlighted earlier this month by a study suggesting senior bankers in Frankfurt receive higher salaries than senior bankers in London. - £244k (€345k) vs. £234k. This follows the revelation that Deutsche Bank paid its Frankfurt-based head of FX trading nearly €3m (£2m) in 2011, along with the general realization that Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank has been paying its employees ridiculously well for years.
Now a new chart, released by the European Banking Authority, suggests that proportionately, a higher percentage of Frankfurt-based investment bankers receive large bonuses in London. Shown below, it suggests that nearly 50% of Frankfurt-based 'identified staff' in investment banking are receiving bonuses equivalent to 200% of their salaries, compared to just over 40% in London.
Percentage of identified investment banking staff by EU country who are affected by the 200% bonus ratios
By comparison, another chart in the same series suggests Frankfurt banks pay their 'control staff' less than banks in London. Only around 1% of Frankfurt control staff get 200% bonuses, compared to nearly 9% in London.
Percentage of identified control staff by EU country who are affected by the 200% bonus ratios
Naturally, there are complicating factors. It could be that the percentage of London investment bankers receiving 200% bonuses has been massaged down by UK-based banks' tendency to pay 'fixed rate allowances', something the EBA is now clamping down on. When allowances are eliminated, the percentage of London bankers receiving the maximum permissible bonus may rise next year.