Spain has 163 bank workers who earn more than one million euros. These are data for the year 2019 published this Wednesday by the EBA, the European banking supervisor. It is the fourth country in the European Union by number of bankers that overcome this barrier, although it falls to fifth place due to the fact that at the time of the study the United Kingdom was still a member state and accounted for 70% of bank staff who had millionaire annual income .
Specifically, the EBA figures in 4,963 members of the European banking staff who received a salary, between fixed and variable, of more than one million euros. The agency’s study is prior to 2020, so it still does not have the impact that the pandemic had on Europe. The ECB forced the banks to control the remuneration of executives and restrict the variable part of these salaries, which limited the income of these executives, a measure that will be lifted completely at the end of next month. It is foreseeable that in the next EBA study the figure may be lower.
The United Kingdom is the main country with millionaire banking personnel, mainly due to the great importance of the city of London, where some of the largest entities in the world are located, especially in investment banking. It assumes 3,519 bankers with more than a million annual income. However, the next report will no longer include the country, since it is no longer a member of the European Union. In fact, due to Brexit, the EBA points out that millionaire staff increases have begun to be seen in France, Germany and Italy, coming from the United Kingdom.
Eliminating the UK are 1,444 bankers who earned more than a million in 2019. More than a third, 493, were located in Germany; while in France the figure was 270, in Italy, 241; and finally, in Spain, 163, four less than in the previous study. That is, these four countries accumulate 80% of millionaire employees in 2019.
In the specific case of Spain, in that year, the accumulated amount dissected by the EBA of these workers was 175 million of fixed salary and slightly more than 200 million of variable salary. With this, the average of millionaire workers stood at 2.3 million euros. Of the 163 employees listed in the report, 98 earned between € 1 million and € 2 million. Another 30 made between 2 and 3 million. 18 exceeded that number and fell below 4 million. Half a dozen bankers collected between four and five million. Two, between 5 and 6 million. Five, between 6 and 7 million. Three, between 7 and 10 million. And finally, a banker made more than $ 12 million, according to the EBA.
The EBA indicated, in the accumulated, that in some entities the good results obtained, as well as the restructuring and consolidation processes could have contributed to an increase in the remuneration of the best paid bankers. In 2019, the relative weight of variable remuneration decreased for these people in the set of 24 countries for which data are offered – the rest do not have millionaire bankers – since it was 29% more than the fixed part, when in 2018 had represented 39% more. In the asset management business, the variable remuneration for these bankers was 3.39 times the fixed one in 2019, and there it was also reduced compared to the previous year (when the fixed remuneration had been 3.78).
The issue of the remuneration of bankers has had a special role this year in the public debate in Spain. During the strong process of layoffs that has occurred during this course, adding more than 15,000, the Government raised its voice requesting greater restraint on the part of the banks when it comes to remunerating their managers. This debate was settled in the sector, defending many of these executives with salaries above one million euros, that remuneration is already highly regulated by European organizations.