The Sunday Telegraph - Business & Money

Bonus bonanza for City bankers

- By Simon Foy

CITY bankers are in line for large bonuses after a dealmaking boom propelled UK investment banking revenues to their highest level since the financial crisis during the first nine months of the year.

Investment banks in the Square Mile have posted revenues of more than £4.1bn so far this year from advising on listings, acquisitio­ns and capital raisings, according to data from Dealogic, nearly double the £2.2bn reported during the same period last year.

In the last 15 years, this was eclipsed only by the £4.2bn reported between January and September in 2007, just before the financial crisis hit. The figures do not include revenues from banks’ trading arms.

It comes after bankers have been inundated with work following a surge in acquisitio­ns and flotations post-pandemic. Private equity takeovers have soared to record levels as buyout firms snap up companies on the cheap, while listings on the London Stock Exchange have also rebounded after years of depressed activity.

It came as Wall Street’s biggest banks, including JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup, rode a record wave of M&A activity to cap off a stellar quarter this week. However, the top ups handed to UK bankers are unlikely to be as high as those given to their internatio­nal counterpar­ts, due to the cap on bankers’ bonuses, an Eu-era rule that ministers have yet to scrap.

The record activity has also taken its toll on bankers’ health, with junior staff in particular reporting that they have suffered from burnout after working extremely long hours.

In March, junior Goldman Sachs bankers begged to work just 80 hours a week, after a leaked survey highlighte­d how “inhumane” expectatio­ns were leading to mental health issues among staff. Their complaints included being forced to put in 100-hour weeks and facing “workplace abuse” from management.

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