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Banks Are Offering Five-Figure Raises and Time Off To Make Young Bankers Happier

Forbes | Jack Kelly | Apr 9, 2021

Banks and covid stress - Banks Are Offering Five-Figure Raises and Time Off To Make Young Bankers Happier

A little bad publicity goes a long way. In late March, the legendary investment bank, Goldman Sachs, was accused by a group of young bankers of making them work 100 hours a week.

The Wall Street analysts claimed that they were forced to endure a punishing schedule that left them exhausted and unable to have a social life. To ameliorate the situation, Goldman decided to offer them Saturdays off and said they’d find additional help to alleviate the workload. One day off doesn’t seem like much, but in the hustle culture on Wall Street, it's a start.

Investment banking is a highly competitive field. Now that Goldman set the precedent, other banks are one-upping each other by giving lavish salary increases, bonuses, days off and Peloton bikes to Gen-Z bankers.

Bank of America Corp., one of the nation’s largest banks, said it will enhance the salaries of its junior investment bankers starting May 1, according to Reuters. The salary increases are being awarded to show its recognition. While many sectors have been hit hard by the effects of Covid-19, financial firms have done well. Trading throughout 2020 and the first quarter of 2021was robust and underwritings of IPOs and Spacs were blazingly hot. This created the need for bankers to put in long, grueling hours to keep up with business demands.

The junior-level BofA bankers will receive an extra $10,000. More senior personnel, such as vice presidents, are slated to receive a $25,000 raise.

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Additionally, Barclays, the U.K.-based bank with a large presence in the United States, is changing its policies in an effort to protect the mental health of young investment bankers. The British bank is allowing bankers to curtail their working hours. Associates won’t have to work from 9 p.m. Friday to 9 a.m. Sunday—except when it's necessary. The investment professionals will be advised to actually take their two five-day vacations a year to decompress from the stress.

Newly appointed Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser informed her 210,000 employees that she is banning internal video calls on Fridays. The move is part of a larger program to set boundaries and help her people have a healthier work-life balance.

Two top Canadian-based banks, Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank, have given an extra day off to bankers to help them deal with any stress, anxiety or burnout issues.

International Swiss-based bank Credit Suisse informed investment bankers that they will receive $20,000 bonuses. This would be for entry and mid-level bankers.

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