Zero bonus fear as City scandals hit banking pay

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Nearly a quarter of bankers fear they will not receive a bonus this year as regulatory pressures weigh on pay in the scandal-hit financial services sector.

A survey of more than 1,000 City workers by recruitment firm Astbury Marsden reveals the percentage of them expecting a “donought”, or zero bonus, in the current pay season has doubled to 22 per cent compared with the same time last year.

With reports suggesting that Royal Bank of Scotland will delve into its bonus pot as it becomes the third bank to pay fines connected with the Libor scandal, half of the respondents believe government and regulatory pressure will have a detrimental impact on their pay.

Some 48 per cent of City workers would consider switching employers if landed with an unsatisfactory bonus – such bonuses being typically paid in February and March for the year before. A fifth would look to be promoted with their current employers to increase pay prospects by other means.

Meanwhile, moving overseas appears to be losing its appeal for City workers, with those who would consider working abroad as a result of poor bonuses falling by 8 per cent on the year.

Compared with the year before, the Centre for Economics and Business Research expects that 
2012 bonuses for the City will be slashed by more than a half to 
£1.6 billion.

Pressured by low profitability and regulatory measures, this figure is in stark contrast to the £11.6bn peak bonus pool in 2008.