UBS salaries and bonuses: high earners get smallest increase

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UBS salaries and bonuses: high earners get smallest increase

UBS publishes its annual report today, and with it details of compensation in 2021. While salaries and bonuses at the bank went up last year, they didn't go up by nearly as much as at some rivals.

Overall, UBS 2021 bonus pool was up 10% on 2020. The bank said this reflect its strong performance, mitigated by the "reputational impact" of the $774m it lost relating to Archegos. This loss meant bonuses were subject to "a significant downward revision," compared to what might otherwise have been.

The good news, though, is that the highest of UBS's high earners earned more than they have done for years, and that the average UBS employee didn't do badly either. 

As the chart below shows, UBS's 699 'key risk takers' (defined as anyone earning more than USD/CHF2.5m, plus staff in significant risk taking positions) earned an average of $2.2m last year, up 37% on the lows of 2019.

Key risk takers are the highest of UBS's high earners. Everyone else earned a lot less. UBS employs 71,385 people in total, of whom 58,850 received a bonus for 2021. That bonus averaged 'just' $62k, but was up by a more generous 8%. Key risk takers were punished most for the Archegos issue.

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