Warning: do not generalize. Still, this is an interesting story:
City bankers will suffer little or no impact from the bonus supertax imposed by the government last month, according to a Financial Times poll of leading investment banks.
Most banks, polled in an anonymised survey, said they would absorb all or part of the cost of the one-off 50 per cent tax by inflating their bonus pools, even at the risk of irritating the government and their own shareholders.
The results chime with intelligence garnered by headhunters. “The tax is going to be 90 per cent absorbed by the banks,” said one senior recruitment consultant with clients in the City.
In many cases that will mean banks doubling bonus pools, with the cost of the tax borne by shareholders. Dividends, already under pressure as regulators force banks to retain earnings to boost capital, are likely to be hit, bankers concede.