Saturday 24 February 2018

Data shows huge divergence in Euro area central bankers' pay

Central Bank Governor Philip Lane. Photo: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg
Central Bank Governor Philip Lane. Photo: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Aaron Eglitis

Mario Draghi may be first among equals in the European Central Bank's Governing Council, but he certainly isn't the best paid.

The central bank governors of Belgium, Italy and Germany make more than the ECB president's annual €386,000, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Belgium's Jan Smets took the crown with about €480,000, almost six times as much as bottom-of-the-list Vitas Vasiliauskas of Lithuania.

There's little obvious pattern to governors' pay. Ireland's Philip Lane, on €254,000, earns more than his Spanish opposite number despite the latter being the fourth-biggest economy in the Euro area, but Governor Lane also earns far less than his Belgian peer.

Indeed, Belgium's economy is barely one-eighth the size of neighbouring Germany's, yet Jan Smets earns 10pc more than Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann. Luxembourg, one of the wealthiest nations in the currency bloc for GDP per head, ranks relatively low down the list.

The story is similarly divergent outside the euro area.

While Bank of England Governor Mark Carney earns £480,000 (€560,000) plus housing benefits, his counterpart at the US Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, made $199,700 (€188,000) last year.

Thomas Jordan's salary at the Swiss National Bank was SFR876,500 (€815,726) - although he also gets an annual train pass.

Still, central bankers' pay pales in comparison with that of the banking executives whose businesses they oversee.

Deutsche Bank ceo John Cryan - who gave up his 2015 bonus - made €1.9m last year, while his counterpart at BNP Paribas SA, Jean-Laurent Bonnafe, received a compensation package of about €3.5m. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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