The truth about pay at French investment banks

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The truth about pay at French investment banks

While French investment banks might have their upsides (great canteens, reasonable working hours, generous voluntary redundancy packages), they also have a reputation for being circumspect in regard to compensation for their bankers and traders. 

The recently released compensation reports for Société Générale (SocGen) and BNP Paribas suggests this reputation is not undeserved. Compared to other leading European banks, the two leading French houses pay their 'material risk-takers' (top traders, bankers, and control professionals) considerably less. 

How much less? As the chart below shows, while Deutsche Bank and Barclays each pay their material risk-takers over €1.3m, at BNP Paribas the average is €859k ($1m) and at SocGen it's just €597k ($720k). These are BNP and SocGen's 841 and 454 highest earning bankers and traders in their corporate and investment banks, respectively.

SocGen and BNP pay less their material risk takers (MRT) than Barclays and Deutsche Bank in terms of salaries, and a lot less in terms of bonuses. This is particularly the case at SocGen, where the average bonus last year was just €264k.

SocGen and BNP's recent remuneration reports suggest you're more likely to earn seven figures at BNP Paribas. - Last year, 222 people earned over €1m at BNP compared to just 44 at SocGen. Only two people at SocGen earned over €2m in 2020, versus 45 at BNP Paribas.

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Photo by Rafael Garcin on Unsplash

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