May.31 - A new study finds the number of financial professionals receiving bonuses in London is on the decline, along with pay rises. Kirsty Basset reports it signals a shift in remuneration culture - in an industry once synonymous with high rewards.
Bad news for city professionals in these austere times - fewer workers are getting bonuses - and pay rises are also on the decline. A new survey by financial recruitment specialist Morgan McKinley has found that 68 percent of professionals were paid bonuses in 2012/13, down from 82 percent the previous year. There was also a decline in the number of workers happy with their bonus. The number of people lucky enough to get a pay rise fell by over 10 percent. Hakan Enver, Director at Morgan McKinley Financial Services, says times are changing. (SOUNDBITE)(English) HAKAN ENVER, DIRECTOR AT MORGAN MCKINLEY FINANCIAL SERVICES SAYING: "There's a huge cultural shift in the city in terms of expectations for bonuses. I think the majority of individuals have accepted the fact that currently in the current state that bonuses aren't accepted as high as part of the compensation packages as they were before." One of the easiest ways for companies pressured to cut costs is to reduce discretionary elements of compensation packages, such as bonuses. And it's a trend which is likely to continue, at least in the short term. (SOUNDBITE)(English) HAKAN ENVER, DIRECTOR AT MORGAN MCKINLEY FINANCIAL SERVICES SAYING: "For the forseeable future, yes. Although it's really difficult to tell what the markets will be like in 3-5 years time. If we return to some sort of bull market then who knows, the compensation packages might come back in trend and the bonuses will come back, and we might witness the kind of levels we saw in 2006-07. Alternatively we might witness the eradication of the bonus culture altogether, who knows." For city workers, who've become accustomed to equating a job in the financial sector with high rewards, they'll certainly be hoping that's not the case.