The findings reinforce perceptions that the City disproportionately rewards men
The findings reinforce perceptions that the City disproportionately rewards men © Bloomberg

Four of the City’s top investment banks on Tuesday revealed that they pay women median salaries of 28.9 per cent to 35.2 per cent less than their male colleagues, while women’s median bonuses are between 55.6 per cent and 67.1 per cent lower. 

The disclosures by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse complete the reports by the top 10 investment banks under a requirement for UK companies with more than 250 staff to publish the data. 

The median pay gap across the 10 was 28.92 per cent, according to FT calculations, and the median bonus gap 50.57 per cent. The biggest pay and bonus gaps were at Barclays International. The smallest were at Barclays’ UK division. 

The disclosures have fuelled perceptions that the City disproportionately rewards men even though banks have protested that the measure is unfair since it takes no account of seniority or function. 

On Tuesday Morgan Stanley said its pay gap was 35.2 per cent on a median basis, implying women were paid an hourly wage 35.2 per cent below men’s. Its bonus gap was 55.6 per cent, on an median basis, implying women’s bonuses were 55.6 per cent below men’s. 

BAML’s pay gap was 30.5 per cent on a median basis, while its bonus gap was 56.4 per cent. Citi posted a 30.1 per cent pay gap and a 67.1 per cent bonus gap. At Credit Suisse’s UK entities, the pay gap was 28.9 per cent and the bonus gap was 56 per cent. 

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“Having a gender pay gap does not mean that women are paid less than men for doing the same job,” Jim Cowles, Citi’s Emea chief executive, wrote in a memo to his staff. “Instead, our gender pay gap reflects the distribution of men, relative to women, across the organization. Our figures are particularly impacted by the greater number of men in many of our most senior roles.”

The banks also cited other studies they had done which showed a smaller gender pay gap. In BAML’s case, the pay gap across its global business is just 1 per cent; in Citi’s, a study that looked at pay relative to job function, level and geography across the US, the UK and Germany found a pay gap of just 1 per cent. 

Still, the banks acknowledged that there was room for improvement. “Our metrics are not where we would like them to be,” said Robert Rooney, chief executive of Morgan Stanley International. “There is much more work to do.”

David Mathers, Credit Suisse chief financial officer and CEO of Credit Suisse International, described the numbers as “disappointing”. “While they reflect an improvement, there is clearly much work to be done,” he added. 

Banks are focusing their efforts on promoting and hiring more women at senior levels, and making it easier for women to rejoin the workforce after taking time out to raise children. 

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