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In the money New report reveals how one Irish banker made more than €16 million in 2019

Under European Union law, banks are required to collect and report information on all the people employed by them who earn €1million or more each year


Stock photo

Stock photo

Stock photo

An unidentified Irish banker made more than €16 million in 2019, new figures from the European Banking Authority (EBA) have revealed. 

According to the report, 34 people working in banks in the state earned more than one million euros that year.

That's an increase of seven on the previous year.

The highest paid Irish banker in 2019 was a manager who earned € 16.2 million, including €9 million in fixed remuneration with €7.2 million “variable” which includes bonuses and other benefits.

Neither the manager nor the bank are mentioned in the report, which is an overview of the highest paid employees of financial institutions in the European Union.

However, of the €16 million earned by the individual, approximately €6.4 million has been deferred, which means that will be paid at a later time.

This is a common feature of plans that grant VIP stock options in publicly traded companies.

The employee "earns" stock options during the year in question, but they are granted or awarded at an agreed time in the future, often after several years, as long as the individual continues to work for the company.

Under European Union law, banks are required to collect and report information on all the people employed by them who earn €1million or more each year to the regulator in each member state.

The EBA then publishes the information, but does not name the employees or employers.

Three people working for Irish banks earned between €4-5 million in 2019, totalling €13.1 million in salaries and bonuses, averaging around €4.38 million each.

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One person, another manager, earned €3.65 million, while three in the €2-3 million category earned an average of €2.6 million each.

Irish lenders AIB, Bank of Ireland and permanent TSB cannot pay CEOs more than €500,000 a year, while bonuses are taxed at 89 per cent, which the state bailed out with taxpayer money in 2010 after the financial crisis.

These rules do not apply to banks and financial institutions owned abroad and operating in the Republic.

The report shows that the majority of the highest paid EU bankers worked in the UK in 2019, with more than 3,500 of them earning an average of €2 million each.

A British banker earned €64.6 million in salaries and bonuses in 2019, with half of that figure deferred.

The UK accounted for almost three-quarters of all well-paid bankers in the EU in 2019. However, as the report points out, it has since left the EU.

It notes that "the impact of moving staff from the UK to the EU27 as part of Brexit preparations" has helped increase the number of high-income people in most member states.

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