British bankers the most concerned about trust in the sector

London, 28 May 2013: Of all global bank workers, the financial crisis and repeated scandals have left the British the most concerned about a decline in public trust in their sector, and also personally the least trusting in their paymasters, according to Michael Page Banking & Financial Services Global Employment Trends.
In fact, only 6% of British workers from financial services companies believe that the public trusts the sector, three times lower than the corresponding figure from other European countries. Fewer than one third say they themselves trust companies in the sector, versus an average of 45% of their European counterparts.
David Leithead, managing director of Michael Page Banking & Financial Services said while the survey showed increased optimism for the sector in 2013, there has been a serious erosion of employer loyalty.
“Our survey shows that jobseekers are positive both in terms of the prospects for jobs, and for pay and bonuses to improve, however on the flipside company loyalty has decreased. This is revolving around the belief that pay and reward are now less connected to personal performance,” Mr Leithead said.
According to the survey, UK respondents believe that earnings are out of their control, with 61% saying they were mostly decided by company performance. Only 10% believe that the better they perform, the more they earn.
The survey confirms that pay remains an extremely strong factor in causing people to look for jobs, and consequently, the large majority, 87%, of UK respondents believe that the way to maximise their earnings is to make strategic or opportunistic moves to other companies. Only 8% believe long term incentive plans in their own firm are going to work for them.
“In recent years, events well outside an employee’s control are being cited at their year-end appraisal as a reason to curb pay rises and bonuses. For many employees it’s hard to reconcile that message with increased hours, stress and pressure,” Mr Leithead said.
“Such an extreme erosion of employer loyalty is bad news for the banks. It’s a closed loop so employers must pay an incoming
replacement whatever they weren’t paying the disgruntled outgoing employee. Then pay the additional price of high turnover and its impact on continuity, stability, and staff morale.
“Bank chiefs must push back on domestic political pressure: they need to swiftly restore their employees’ faith in the idea of reward for performance. Our survey shows that bank workers in other countries feel more engaged and that will translate into better business performance, which can further damage the UK banking sector,” he added.
Notes to editors:
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  • Globally 14% fewer people qualified for a bonus for 2012 with 64% saying they did compared to 78% for 2011. The majority of those who did received one which equates up to 20% of their salary.
  • In the UK, around one third (30%) of front office bonuses are 50% or more of their salary
  • Globally bonuses were higher for 2012 with 41% reporting that they received more than 2012, 36% said it stayed the same and 23% said it was lower.
  • Respondents are optimistic about bonuses for 2013 with half expecting they will get more than for 2012.
  • 40% of UK respondents said they received a higher bonus in 2012 ranking slightly higher than average for the EMEA region (39%).
  • Half of UK professionals (49%) believe the best way to maximise their earnings in the long term is to make strategic career moves from one company to another, followed by taking whatever opportunities arise (38%), and staying within the same company (8%).
  • Only 4% of women believe that the better they perform the more they will earn, while four times more men think they performance can impact earnings (16%)
  • Globally the average for the general public’s trust in their country’s financial services companies is 24%, with a further 55% saying that their trust in the sector has declined in recent times
  • UK ranked joint lowest with the Republic of Ireland with only 6% of respondents saying that the public trusts financial services companies and a further 52% reporting that the public trust the sector less than they use to.
  • In the UK 31% of professionals working in the sector trust financial services companies, which ranked ahead of Germany on 28% but on a par with Hong Kong (31%) and marginally behind Switzerland (34%)
About the survey
Michael Page Banking & Financial Services Global Employment Trends survey is based on responses from an online survey of more than 3,800 people working in the financial services industry. Respondents cover a broad range of departments and levels of seniority. In total, 47 countries spanning all four major regions including North America, Latin America, EMEA and Asia Pacific are represented in the survey.