Top earning bankers left Britain for EU ahead of Brexit


The EBA said in its annual survey of bankers earning a million euros or more annually that Britain saw a drop of 95 high earners

Nearly a hundred highly paid bankers left Britain ahead of its departure from the European Union (EU), the bloc’s banking watchdog said on Wednesday – the latest confirmation of how Brexit has reshaped Europe’s financial sector and its tax base.

The European Banking Authority (EBA) said in its annual survey of bankers earning a million euros ($1.17 million) or more annually that Britain saw a drop of 95 high earners.

In a sign of how London continues to be Europe’s biggest financial centre so far, the country still accounted for 71% of the 4,963 bankers in the top pay category across the bloc, with a total of 380,000 people employed in Britain’s banking industry, according to figures from TheCityUK.

The million euro threshold includes basic pay, bonuses, long-term awards and pension contributions.

Britain left the EU in December 2020 and banks and other financial firms had relocated more than 7,000 staff from London to other hubs in the bloc by that time to ensure customers retained full access to the EU financial market.

The moves boosted the number of top earners to 492 from 450 in Germany, to 270 from 234 in France, and to 241 from 206 in Italy, the EBA said.

The increase of high earners resulted mostly from the impact of the relocation of staff from the UK to EU27 as part of Brexit preparations, the EBA said in a report.

Most of the EU’s top earning bankers were based in its main financial centres of Frankfurt, Paris and Milan.

The EU capped on banker bonuses in 2014 at twice the amount of basic pay with shareholder approval, a measure that Britain opposed at the time but has so far left intact since Brexit.

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