When it comes to pay, Barclays is a bit of a moving target. The British bank revealed in February that it increased its bonus pool for the first time in five years for 2018. Incentivized pay for investment bankers was up around 9% over 2017 totals. But then in April, Barclays did an about-face, announcing that bonuses accrued by investment bankers in first quarter would fall by double digits compared to Q1 of 2018 after a sluggish first three months of the year.
However, that news came to light before activist investor Edward Bramson got trounced in a motion calling for his appointment to Barclays' board. Bramson, who garnered less than 4% of independent shareholder votes, has been calling for Barclays to take a knife to its investment bank. With Bramson thoroughly defeated, Barclays may be more willing to open its purse strings in the coming quarters. Truth be told, Barclays remains rather competitive when it comes to investment banking pay, even with the recent fluctuations in performance and changes to the bonus pool.
Below are newly updated compensation numbers at each level for Barclays' bankers in New York, courtesy of Wall Street Oasis. We then compared Barclays' salary and bonus totals to the averages of the 10 biggest bulge-bracket banks in New York. As you can see in the first chart below, with the exception of vice presidents, salaries at Barclays fall within 10% of the average bulge-bracket bank. Associates at Barclays actually earn bigger salaries and bonuses than the average New York banker. However, VPs take home around $185k in salary compared to an average of $227k elsewhere.
When it comes to bonuses (second chart), associates at Barclays trump the competition once again ($83k vs. $76k). However, the advantage craters as soon as bankers reach the VP level, where rivals earn an average bonus of $148k compared to just $110k at Barclays. There's not much difference at the director/MD level.
In short, you’re likely to earn less at Barclays than at the average Wall Street bank, but the differences aren’t enormous, particularly considering U.S. banks are currently much healthier than U.K. and European rivals.
Average salary at Barclays vs. Wall Street
Average bonuses at Barclays vs. Wall Street
(Note: First and second-year analyst salaries and bonuses were averaged)