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Bankers reveal the truth about hourly pay and working hours

How much do you really earn in a banking job? Everyone knows that careers in finance can be well paid, but once those crazy working hours have been factored in, is it really worth it?

We asked banking professionals in various different roles to tell us their gross pay on an hourly basis, plus how many hours they work each week. The results are below. They suggest that most people in most banking jobs don't work 80 hour weeks - these are reserved for the junior M&A bankers.  And while some senior traders and bankers are on hundreds of pounds an hour, plenty of junior people in finance earn less than £25. Worst off is the junior credit analyst who works 70 hour weeks for just £20 an hour.

Needless to say, this is a simplified version of reality. Deferred bonuses and allowances complicate the picture, especially at the senior end. Even so, this should give you a good idea of pay and lifestyles in different jobs at different levels across big investment banks. Don't all rush to trade the central risk book at once...

1. Head of central risk book, major U.S. bank, London

"I work a 50 hour week and earn around £180 an hour."

2. Rates trader, Japanese bank, London, 7 years' experience 

"I work 50 to 55 hours a week. Typical pay for someone in my position is around £300k, which averages around £120 an hour given I work around 11 months of the year."

3. Senior risk manager, major European bank, London, 20 years' experience

"I usually work a 55 hour week. I'd prefer not to discuss pay...."

4.  Compliance analyst, British bank, London, 5 years' experience

"I work 35 hours a week (9-5) and take an hour for lunch. I am paid £150 per day roughly, so that works out at around £21.50 an hour. In my opinion I am paid a lot less than I should be for my experience."

5. Technology analyst, major U.S. bank, London, front office equities technology, 1 year's experience

"I usually work from 9am to 7pm, although sometimes longer - nearer a 12 hour day. I earn £45k and that includes my bonus. When you factor in a month's holiday, it works out at around £20 a hour."

6. Electronic sales trader, major U.S. bank, London, 10 years' experience

"55 hours a week is normal for me, maybe even 60. If I work a 55 hour week I earn around £130 an hour, but that includes shares which I can't touch for years."

7. Structured capital markets DCM banker, British bank, London, 8 years' experience 

"I usually average an 11 hour day and earn around £175k a year including restricted bonuses. That makes it around £72 an hour if holiday is excluded."

8. Senior CDS trader, London 

"In credit sales and trading, it's normal to work from 7.15am to 5.30pm, so 50-55 hours a week. Trading bonuses are still volatile than sales bonuses (P&Ls are less consistent than sales credits), so total compensation in trading can vary widely. In a good year I can get £700 an hour. In a bad year, it's a lot less."

9. Execution trader, major U.S. bank, London, 2 year' experience

"I work around 12 hours a day, so around 60 hours a week. On an hourly basis my salary works out at £24 an hour, and I'd expect that to go up to £36 an hour when my bonus is added in."

10. Equity sales, major U.S. bank, London, 20 years' experience 

"I get around 7am and work until 6pm and don't really take a lunch break - I'll pick up food and usually eat at my desk. If I'm away, it will be for around 20 minutes. I probably earn around £125 an hour, although this is complicated by the spread of bonuses across different years."

11. Credit analyst, major U.S. bank, London, 18 months' experience 

"I work around 70 hours a week and earn around £20 an hour."

12. Rates trader, British bank, London, 3 years' experience

"I work roughly 55 hours a week and in total comp I make around £37 an hour."

13. Senior financial institutions coverage banker, major European bank, London, 29 years' experience

"I work about 50-55hrs per week. In a standard year my pay works out at roughly £200 per hour, pre-tax. I probably should have become a corporate lawyer or consultant instead, with hindsight!"

14. Business analyst, major strategy consulting firm, London, 1 years' experience 

"I usually work around 50 to 60 hours a week and I earn £40k a year, so that's around £17 an hour."

15. Credit risk model quant, contractor, London, 17 years' experience 

"I usually work 8.5 hours a day and bill £650, so that makes my hourly rate around £76."

16. M&A associate, U.S. bank, New York, 5 years' experience 

"I work an 80 hour week and earn around $300k [£234k]. So, that's around $68 [£53] per hour."

17. Technology associate, major U.S. bank. London, supporting finance team,  4 years' experience

"I average around 45 hours per week and I'm one of the harder workers! My hourly pay is around £40."

18. Risk analyst, asset management division of global bank, London, 1 years' experience

"I I work 40 hours per week, and my salary is £45k per year. That's around £22 an hour. "

19. Rates trader, small European bank, London, 4 years' experience 

"My average working week is 55hrs. My base pay is £60k. The bonus can vary hugely - from 0% to 30% of my salary. On average, I probably make around £30 an hour."


Photo credit: Rolex Submariner 5512 by hypo.physe is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • NA
    23 August 2017

    Get a life! and last but not least - enjoy it while you have one (ie are alive..)

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