In theory, Deutsche Bank's non-existent bonuses don't really matter. Yes, Deutsche Bank isn't paying cash bonuses to anyone above assistant vice president level this year. Yes, Deutsche's 'retention bonuses' are hugely deferred and predicated upon big additional increases in the bank's share price. - But Deutsche increased salaries last year. Didn't it? - And didn't those increased salaries go some way to compensating for the measly bonuses?
Actually no. Not everyone at Deutsche Bank got the salary increases, and this is causing consternation now that they're not getting bonuses either.
"The VPs in Deutsche Bank's debt capital markets team didn't get the salary increase last year," says one Deutsche insider. "They're still on salaries of £105k ($131k) to £120k. And now they've been given zero bonuses too."
The disgruntlement among Deutsche's Deutsche's DCM bankers is being amplified by the fact that Deutsche's M&A bankers did get a salary increase in 2016 and are now on salaries of £140k. A significant proportion of mid-ranking M&A bankers have also allegedly also been offered the retention packages.
"You have VPs in DCM who are being paid £120k net and then you have VPs in M&A who are getting salaries of £140k plus retention packages of £80k for doing a similar job at a similar level," says one Deutsche insider. "The mood in DCM is very bad and very low." Further compounding the issue, she says Deutsche's DCM bankers are allegedly going from VP to director within three, four or five years, whereas Deutsche promotes VPs in M&A after just three years...
Deutsche Bank declined to comment. Revenues fell 6% in the German bank's DCM business last year compared to 2015, while M&A revenues fell 15%.
As we reported last week, Deutsche is making redundancies in its markets business this Tuesday, but some senior staff have left ahead of time in disgust at the bonus round. Mid-ranking staff can't afford to walk away and are stuck complaining about their lot. One Deutsche insider said it's not just DCM bankers who didn't get last year's pay rise: "This applies to a lot of people: they were promised something which didn't come through."