Deutsche Bank gave its most senior people big pay increases in 2018, seemingly at the expense of the rest

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Deutsche Bank published its 2018 remuneration report today. If you work for the bank and you had your bonus cut substantially last year, you may have reason to feel miffed.

In 2018, the bonus pool at Deutsche's corporate and investment bank was €1,033m, down from €1,341m in 2017. That's a big drop - of 23%.

However, as the chart below shows, Deutsche Bank's mostly highly paid employees did just fine in 2018. In fact, Deutsche paid far more to its employees earning more than €5m than it did in 2017. It also more than doubled the pay of Garth Ritchie, head of the corporate and investment bank, to €8.6m.

Deutsche's generosity to its very highest earners follow complaints by DB employees that while rank-and-file staff and hard-working MDs at the bank have had their bonuses cut or removed, top staff have been paying themselves inordinately well. 

"I know several producers who have had to downsize lifestyles over the years, while I am not aware of one single senior manager who has done so," complained one DB banker. "Indeed I am aware of some senior folks having bought new homes and second homes while the stock cratered over the last three to four years.  

"In this bonus round, the same thing seems to have happened again," he added. "Virtually everyone I know got shafted except for the top people and their mates one or two levels below them. They seem to get a fortune every year."

Today's remuneration report seems to confirm this to be the case. Deutsche might argue that it needs to retain its most senior managers if it's to grow revenues in the years to come, but it's easy to see why people earning less than €5m might wish for the pain to be shared more evenly.

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