City bonuses down 9% – but still seven times average

Average finance and insurance industry bonus was £12,000 as total sector pot fell to £13bn – compared with £20bn in 2007/8

City workers still take home the biggest bonuses of any employees in the UK, despite a 9% drop in incentive pay in the sector last year.

The average City bonus per employee was £12,000 in the last financial year, although that figure masks vast differences between the multimillion pound payouts to bank executives and the majority of bank workers who receive little incentive pay.

It is still seven times larger than the average private sector bonus of just £1,700. In total, City workers took home 36% of all bonuses paid last year, despite accounting for just 4% of all employees. Bonus payments in the sector dropped to £13bn and the total remains significantly lower than the near £20bn paid out in 2007-2008, before the financial crisis struck home. The Office for National Statistics said the rest of the economy saw a 12% increase in bonuses to £24bn, approaching levels reached before the financial crisis.

The second best industry for bonuses was mining and quarrying, where employees based in England, Scotland and Wales received an average bonus of £6,900 each. That should cause red faces on the boards of some mining companies, such as Lonmin and Anglo American, which have seen violent pay disputes erupt among miners working for them in South Africa.

Workers at the Lonmin-owned Marikana platinum mine ended their six-week strike on Tuesday after accepting a 22% pay rise, taking their pay to just over 11,000 rand (£825) a month. But the violence continues at Anglo American Platinum’s mine in Rustenburg, where South African police fired rubber bullets and tear gas on Wednesday to disperse protesters.

Josephine Moulds © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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