Citigroup is raising the salaries for its junior investment bankers, the latest Wall Street firm to try to improve terms for younger staff after a group of Goldman Sachs bankers complained publicly about the industry’s arduous working conditions.
Citi said in a memo to staff on Friday that it would increase base salaries for its programme vice-presidents, associates and analysts in the banking capital markets and advisory unit from July 1.
“BCMA program vice presidents, associates and analysts are a highly valued resource, contributing greatly to the ongoing success and strength of BCMA,” BCMA co-heads Tyler Dickson and Manolo Falcó wrote in the memo, which was reviewed by the Financial Times. “Especially in this current environment, it is important we recognise your talent and efforts to drive our businesses’ success and serve our clients.”
Citi’s BCMA division has roughly 6,000 employees globally.
The salary increases range from $15,000 to $25,000 and will bump up first-year analysts’ salaries in the US to $100,000 a year, according to a person familiar with the matter. This does not account for bonuses.
Across large investment banks, including Citi, the average first-year analyst salary is $91,000, according to Wall Street Oasis, which tracks the finance industry.
Rival investment banks JPMorgan Chase and Barclays have also recently lifted salaries for first-year analysts, to $100,000 from $85,000, according to people briefed on the matter.
Investment banking has long been known for its demanding hours and intense workplace culture, and the demands of the job have only grown during the pandemic.
Earlier this year, a group of first-year investment banking analysts at Goldman Sachs spoke out against the stresses of the job. Based on a survey of 13 analysts, the average work week was 95 hours, with five hours of sleep a night, the slide deck showed.
Some banks have taken steps to provide extra perks to compensate younger bankers for the added strain this year.
Earlier this year, Jefferies offered younger staff benefits including a Peloton bike and Apple products, while Credit Suisse gave bankers a $20,000 bonus, according to reports by Bloomberg and Business Insider.
Citigroup has so far adopted a more flexible approach in bringing its bankers back to work in the office compared with the likes of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
The bank said most of its bankers would return to work under a “hybrid” model, with at least three days a week in the office and up to two at home.