The Bonus Truth

Robert Half and the ICAEW shows that wealth is not equally dispersed amongst employees at banking and financial institutions. 

London, 29 March 2011 - Despite public scrutiny over bonuses offered at banking and financial institutions, new research by recruitment specialist Robert Half and the ICAEW shows that the wealth is not equally dispersed amongst employees. According to the 513 ACAs surveyed from the banking and capital markets sector, the median annual bonus was £16,000, much lower than what is reported for front of house professionals within the sector. Only 9 per cent of respondents earned over £100,000 in bonus remuneration.

Complementing these findings is an additional survey of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) within financial services. More than four in 10 (42 per cent) CFOs plan to increase the bonuses of their finance and accountancy staff within the first half of the year, and 56 per cent plan to maintain current levels. When asked by how much, four in 10 (43 per cent) anticipate increasing bonuses by 5-6%, followed by three in ten (29 per cent) who plan to increase 7-10% over current levels. 

 Financial services CFOs were asked, Thinking about compensation within your finance and accounting department, in the next 6 months do you think bonuses will”:



Stay the same




Don’t know


“And how much, on average, do you anticipate increasing bonuses by in the next 6 months?” Their responses:


% increase

% response







More than 10%


Don’t know



“Finance and accounting professionals within the financial services sector have played a critical role in driving business efficiencies and improving controls following the crisis,” said Neil Owen, director of Robert Half Financial Services Group. “As organisations face a more stringent regulatory environment, highly knowledgeable finance professionals can help navigate changing compliance requirements, analyse data and provide a more commercial outlook to the finance function.”

 Owen adds, “Many organisations are finding that they currently do not have the resources to manage emerging initiatives and are therefore engaging senior-level financial professionals on an interim basis. This cost-effective strategy allows companies to address workload peaks and valleys without the fixed cost of a permanent hire.” 

 The Robert Half Professional Hiring Index includes additional information on anticipated permanent and temporary hiring, remuneration trends and confidence levels amongst UK CFOs.