There are more than 2,400 bankers in Britain earning in excess of of €1 million, over three times more than the rest of the European Union combined, according to new official data.
The figures on banker salaries means the UK has 14 times as many top-earners in finance as Germany, who have a mere 170, and 15 times more than France, who have just 162. There's a grand total of 3,175 high-earning bankers - but break it down and you discover that the UK’s 2,436-strong total of millionaire bankers is several times bigger than the 739 across the rest of the EU as a whole.
The data, released by the European Banking Authority, focused on the sums that bank executives were paid in 2011 as part of research into how new banking rules, such as a cap on bankers’ bonuses, would affect European countries.
The banking bonus cap, which comes into effect next year, would limit bonuses for those earning more than €500,000 to the level of their salary, or twice their salary with shareholder approval.
Out of the UK’s total, 1,809 worked in investment banking, 85 in retail, 182 in asset management and 360 in other areas.
PCS union leader Mark Serwotka told the Huffington Post UK: "With their tax cut for millionaires, the Tories are making the UK a safe haven for the fabulously wealthy, while for others homelessness rises, and the use of foodbanks soars."
Unite union leader Len McCluskey tweeted: "More bankers in Britain earned 1m euros in 2011 than in the rest of the European Union combined #allinthistogether."
Mary Honeyball, Labour MEP for London, told the Huffington Post UK: "I welcome plans to toughen up bankers bonuses.
"In 2010, the EU put in place rules and told the banks to introduce a ratio between fixed salary and bonus. So it is clear that banks have been told to exercise restraint when it comes to bonuses. They have been warned but have failed to self regulate or, in fact, exercise any kind of restraint.
"Figures from 2011 show the bonus ratio for high earners in the UK was 3.5 times base salary in 2011. As a result the European regulator placed an EU-wide bonus cap, limiting bonuses at two times' salary with shareholder approval, and this will have some effect.
"Far from interfering, these rules are in place to ensure rules banks are safer and more accountable. The previous model which resulted in banks being bailed out was neither sustainable or ethical."