Despite Their Best Efforts, Deutsche Bank Employees Can't Seem To Get A Pay Cut

What's the word for the opposite of schadenfreude?
(Getty Images)

Getty Images

Since the global financial crisis, no bank in the world that has tried harder to earn pay cuts than Deutsche Bank. Yet somehow, despite dozens of employees rigging Libor, capital buffers running so low that Angela Merkel is afraid to touch it and the bank otherwise diligently avoiding profits, base pay among Deutsche Bankers remains right where it was in 2007.

Reuters crunched the numbers:

Germany's biggest bank paid its staff more than 13 billion euros ($13.6 billion) in total last year, including benefits and bonuses, despite making a loss of almost 6.8 billion euros. That level of pay was about the same as in 2007, when it made a profit of around 6.5 billion euros.

This year, staff received more than 9 billion euros in the nine months to September, while profit in that time was about 500 million euros, according to its reports.

Deutsche employees can be forgiven for not wanting to shout the news from the rooftops. A solid chunk of them don't even feel too keen on listing DB on their résumés.

And even though total pay has held constant as profits have cratered, life at DB is hardly a picnic. For one thing, massive layoffs that have obliterated sections of the bank. CEO John Cryan has even taken away some of the black Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedans that chauffeur execs around Frankfurt.

And bonuses have indeed been under pressure. Reuters' data show that although pay held steady last year, 2016 may be the year the employees' aggregate kitty starts to shrink. Staff received $9 billion in pay in the first 9 months of the year, putting them on pace for $12 billion in 2016 – a 7.7 percent dip.

Auf wiedersehen, Deutsche bonuses.