Slowly but surely, the banking sector gives up its bonuses. The Swiss bank UBS has confirmed to the "Financial Times" that it removes the variable remuneration of 10,000 employees from its "corporate center", its service center which brings together its marketing, human resources and communication functions. Remunerated between 50,000 and 100,000 Swiss francs, they will receive fixed bonuses whose amount will approach half of their monthly salary, said the Swiss newspaper Sonntagszeitung.

The bank intends to "reduce uncertainty" related to variable compensation, says a spokesman for UBS. "This will eliminate the inconvenience associated with poorer performance and at the same time will retain the incentive potential associated with good results"he replied to the British daily.

UBS says it's not a way to cut costs, even though the group had $ 13 billion of capital outflows in its wealth management business and suffered a loss in investment banking in the last quarter. The bank also claims not to consider extending this scheme to the rest of its bankers.

Complex management in Europe

The challenge of traditional bonuses rises in the industry. Since January, 20,000 executives of Commerzbank, the second largest private German bank, also no longer receive individual bonuses. They retain variable compensation, but this now depends only on collective performance. The German bank said it wanted to achieve savings, by simplifying the administrative management of this type of remuneration, considered too complex.

The regulation in Europe is, it is true, deeply hardened with the introduction of ceilings. The variable can not exceed once the fixed, or double if the shareholder approval and bypass strategies are pursued by the supervisor. And the impact of the volatility of the results of the market bank, and its traders in particular, weighs on other employees. For European banks, this is one of the last sources of cost reduction.

The "danger" of individual bonuses

Another small establishment also gave up its bonuses in January: the Swiss bank Migros, a subsidiary of the supermarket chain of the same name. It announced late last year remove the bonuses of its executives and leaders. It will compensate for this suppression by raising wages on a case-by-case basis.

The bank, it is another motivation than that of UBS and Commerzbank. The bonuses are no longer adapted to the digital age, she believes For Harald Nedwed, the CEO of Migros, online banking allows customers to decide for themselves "how and when" they want perform their operations. Commercial success is therefore above all a collective work. " Individual variable compensation in the form of bonuses even entails the danger of encouraging employees to favor their own activity, which is decisive for the bonus, to the detriment of the overall perspective. He said on the bank's website.

Anne Drif