Britain's banking elite revealed

City of LondonBritain has three times as many highly paid bankers than the rest of Europe put together, latest figures show.

They revealed that 2,436 were paid more than one million euro (£860,000), compared to 739 in the rest of the EU.

On average the top UK bankers received 1.44 million euros (£1.24 million) - but this was a large fall on 2.3 million euro (£1.99 million) the year before, when the UK had 2,525.

Germany managed to maintain Europe's biggest economy with just 170 highly-paid financiers, a figure 14 times lower than that in the UK.
Britain had 15 times more bankers in the highest pay bracket than France, which was next on the list with 162.

Debt-laden basket case Greece managed to produce two millionaires in 2011 - the year the figures were recorded - despite the chaos engulfing the country's financial system.

The figures, released by the European Banking Authority, starkly illustrate the dominance of the UK as a financial centre compared to its continental counterparts - and how much more it will be affected by proposals to Europe-wide moves to clamp down on bonuses.

The EU bonus cap would limit senior bankers' bonuses to 100% of salary, or 200% with shareholder approval.

The figures show that in the UK, bonuses among the top group were £2.72 billion in total, on top of fixed salaries which added up to £785 million - making bonuses three and a half times bigger. The ratio was similar in France and just over two and a half times in Germany but in relation to a much smaller total number.

In the UK, the majority of the top bracket were working in investment banking, with 1,809, in a sector where bonuses were nearly four times fixed pay. There were 85 in retail divisions, 182 in asset management and 360 in other business areas.