If banks had thought that 2022 would bring an abatement of the pressure on junior salaries following last year's increases, they will already be disappointed. 2022 is turning out to be as inflationary as 2021: just ask Credit Suisse, which has followed Wells Fargo in hiking junior banker salaries a second time to the new baseline of $110k in year one.
While junior bankers elsewhere are getting pay rises though, grumblings are still coming through from Citi - and not just from its junior bankers. Some traders at the bank also feel they have an axe to grind.
Citi hiked salaries for its junior bankers in the US in January 2022, but London traders claim their pay still lags rivals. "In the markets division, our salaries have stagnated for years at associate vice president level," says one Citi insider. "We get £80k for AVP1, £90k for AVP2 and £100k for AVP 3."
AVP at Citi is equivalent to associate at other banks. At other U.S. banks like Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, the equivalent rates are thought to be £105k and £115k in the first and second years. While other U.S. banks have increased markets salaries dramatically (salaries for salespeople and traders) alongside salaries for junior investment bankers, Citi's junior traders say they've fallen behind.
Citi declined to comment on its pay for junior markets professionals. The figures above refer only to salaries, and maybe mitigated by bonuses. When we looked at salaries and bonuses for material risk takers at Citigroup Global Markets in 2020, they were comparable to other big U.S. banks and cash bonuses in particular were higher. However, material risk takers are typically at director level and above, and Citi's junior traders are complaining about bonuses too: "Last year, an AVP 1 at Citi would have made between £90k and £140k in total comp, while at Goldman it was more like £170-£180k," alleges one.
One Citi junior said the pay disparity has led to "abnormal' staff exits. However, junior headcount in the bank's markets division is understood to be flat this year compared to last.
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