Finance

BNP Paribas joins Wall Street salary bidding war for junior bankers

BNP Paribas has raised salaries for entry-level investment bankers in the US to $100,000, the latest bank to hike pay amid a battle for young talent.

The French bank has increased pay from $85,000 to $100,000, matching the vast majority of large investment banks on Wall Street, which have moved to boost pay amid an increase in departures at the junior level.

The raise does not yet apply to other locations, but BNP Paribas is expected to match rivals’ pay bumps in Europe, where starting salaries have largely increased from £50,000 to £60,000 in recent months.

A bank spokesperson declined to comment.

BNP’s French rival Societe Generale has also increased base pay for its junior bankers, but has included all front-line jobs within its investment bank in the hikes, Financial News reported. SocGen has also raised second-year analyst salaries to $105,000 and to $110,000 for those in their third year.

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Six-figure starting salaries at banks on Wall Street are now near-universal, with Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JPMorgan, Lazard, Morgan Stanley, Nomura and UBS all raising salaries to $100,000 over the past month.

Goldman Sachs now pays entry-level salaries of $110,000 to its investment bankers — and expanded this to other units last week — a figure matched by smaller banks including Jefferies, Perella Weinberg Partners and Moelis & Co.

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Turnover among analysts and associates has hit 70% at some investment banks in 2021, recruiters have told FN, up from a usual departure rate of around 40% over two years.

JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Barclays are all hiring juniors to help alleviate the workload, as deal flow hit new highs during the first half of the year.

A group of Goldman Sachs analysts leaked a presentation outlining 100-hour weeks and declining mental health in March. Banks have responded by increasing recruitment, rolling out salary hikes and paying one-off bonuses to juniors to keep hold of staff.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Paul Clarke

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