Banks Pay Higher Salaries, But There is More Turnover

9-27-13-Crowe.pngEvery year Crowe conducts a compensation and benefits survey of financial institutions. The results of the 2013 Financial Institutions Compensation Survey are now in, and our analysis of the trends indicates some interesting patterns.

Pay is rising. Inflation expectations and market conditions appear to be strengthening as indicated by banks making larger upward adjustments to their salary structures.

2013 was not a banner year for CEO compensation growth. Slow compensation growth for CEOs in 2013 appears to indicate that bank financial performance has improved only modestly.

Hiring and retaining the right employees continue to be the highest-priority human resource concerns. While banks have several important priorities related to human resources, their most highly rated concerns appear to be finding and retaining the right employees.

Annual salary increases continue to average 2.70 percent. The market has settled into a stable range of annual salary increases.

Employee turnover is increasing. Employees appear to be more comfortable with their job prospects as turnover has returned to pre-recession levels.

Compensation growth varies widely by job position. Some job positions have experienced significant growth in compensation over the past four years while others have lagged. For example, compensation for chief credit officers is up 23 percent over the past four years, while branch manager II compensation is up only 9 percent.

Benefit costs continue to grow. Benefit costs as a percentage of salary continue to increase, with health benefits being the primary source of increased costs.

Benefit cost-containment efforts are a major focus. More than half of the banks surveyed are trying to contain costs by using a variety of techniques to shift a portion of benefit costs to employees.

This year, our analysis identified some differences between small banks (those with less than $1 billion in assets) and their larger brethren.

An above-market compensation strategy is more common at larger banks. A higher proportion of larger banks than smaller banks indicated they are consciously paying above-market compensation.

Smaller banks are doing a better job of differentiating pay for above-average performers. Smaller banks had a higher differential of pay increases between above-average performers and average performers.

Larger banks pay a higher proportion of incentives. Incentives as a percentage of salary are typically higher at larger banks, although the difference and amount vary from year to year.

Banks with more than $1 billion in assets are expecting more growth. A higher proportion of larger banks expect their number of employees to grow compared with their smaller counterparts.

View a full summary of the results of the survey for more detailed findings.