The Swiss Bank Which Pays the Highest Wages

In the wage statistics, one Swiss bank is miles ahead of its competitors. Meanwhile, salaries at Credit Suisse and Julius Baer have declined last year, a compilation by shows.

1. Vontobel Pays the Best Wages

Working for Vontobel private bank pays off – its employees are among the best paid in the country. The 1,500 staff at the Zurich-based bank on average receive more than 350,000 Swiss francs (see table below). That's the top spot for Vontobel – with way to go for its competitors.

The table compiled is based on an analysis of the 2015 results of UBS, Credit Suisse (CS), Julius Baer, Vontobel and Zuercher Kantonalbank. divided the personnel expenses through the number of staff on a full-time equivalent.

Lohne 500

The significant difference between what Vontobel and its competitors pay doesn't make much sense. But two factors must have played a role: the institute is mainly active in private banking, asset management and investment banking, the part of banking considered as top notch. Vontobel doesn't do retail banking and has comparatively few back office workers, who tend to earn less.

Vontobel also has some top earners among the asset management staff, pushing up the average income. Rajiv Jain for instance is known to negotiate well on his own behalf and Vontobel is said to compensate him lavishly.

2. UBS Is Back on Track

The 60,000 staff at Switzerland's biggest bank receive the second-biggest compensation packages. The employees on average take 266,000 francs home, 12,000 more than a year earlier.

Michel Demaré, member of the board and compensation committee, recently said bonuses wouldn't be cut this year, because the bank had to remain competitive in a global environment.

UBS however did freeze the fixed components of the compensation at its investment bank through the second quarter of 2016, insiders reported.

3. Bleak Outlook at CS

Tidjane Thiam, the CEO of CS, has already announced he will cut bonuses by 75 percent after the disaster result of 2015. He also asked for his own bonus to be cut substantially.

CS paid 240,000 francs to its employees last year, less than a year earlier. With this average compensation package, the second-biggest bank of Switzerland only just edged Julius Baer into fourth place.

4. Julius Baer Is Cutting Back

The Baer staff received 230,000 francs last year, almost 10,000 less than in 2014. The private bank posted a markedly reduced profit after the tussle with the U.S. judiciary led to a hefty fine. This fine would affect wages of executives and board members too, Julius Baer Chief Executive Boris Collardi recently said.

5. ZKB's Generosity

The 5,200 staff at Zuercher Kantonalbank, the canton of Zurich's bank, received a nice increase last year. The average compensation package rose 14,000 francs to 183,000 francs, boosting the bank's personnel expenses by 16 percent – mainly because of the integration of Swisscanto and bigger bonuses.

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