Despite a fall in bonuses paid in the finance and insurance industry, they remain noticeably higher than in any other area of the economy.
Of the £37 billion paid in bonuses across Great Britain in 2011/12, £13 billion was paid out to employees of businesses in the finance and insurance industry. This was a 9 per cent fall from the 2010/11 level. Despite the fall, financial sector bonuses made up 36 per cent of all bonuses in 2011/12, even though just 4 per cent of all employees work in the industry.
Finance and insurance bonus payments remained significantly below the levels seen during 2006/07 and 2007/08, when bonus payments peaked before the onset of the financial crisis.
The finance and insurance industry pays the majority of its bonuses in December to March, sometimes referred to as ‘bonus season’. In 2011/12, 69 per cent of all bonuses paid in this industry were made during bonus season. Bonuses paid in the rest of the economy during this period (December to March) represented 48 per cent of total bonuses, with more bonuses paid in March than the other months. Bonuses in the rest of the economy were more evenly distributed across the year as a whole, compared with the finance and insurance industry.
Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS). All figures quoted refer tax years and not calendar years.