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Junior bankers at Citigroup are unhappy. However, they appear to work less than some others.

Citi juniors' bonus complaints mitigated by gentle working hours

Now that bonuses have been awarded at U.S. investment banks, it's becoming apparent that some junior bankers have been paid a lot more lavishly than others. Goldman Sachs' associates on total compensation of $500k were in the first category, Morgan Stanley's associates were seemingly in the latter, but the most vociferous complaints appear to be coming from vengeful analysts and associates at Citigroup. 

"Citi has paid disappointing bonuses to analysts and associates this year," claims one possibly unrepresentative Citi junior in the U.S..

The complaints echo posts on forum websites and social media. Instagram account Litquidity has been gathering testimonials from Citi bonus recipients who various say that the numbers are "sad," that they feel "unappreciated." 

Citi M&A revenues were up 78% last year, versus an increase of 84% at Goldman Sachs, 74% at Morgan Stanley (whose bonuses also appear to have been a disappointment), and just 47% at Bank of America (where bonuses were seemingly up 50%). Citi juniors were expecting to be paid accordingly. Matters have apparently been made worse by the fact that Citi hasn't increased junior salaries again in London, unlike some rival American banks, and that it didn't allow juniors to expense meals during the pandemic (and still doesn't). CNBC reported yesterday, too, that some people at Citi have not received bonuses at all this year because of an anonymous complaints system that results in bonuses being withheld, even if complaints are unfounded. 

Best comment picked by the author
I'm a senior associate at Citi and I'm sorry, but this just doesn't resonate at all. We are 100% working the kinds of crazy brutal hours you get across the bulge bracket and get none of these weekends or hours off you mention in this article.

Citi declined to comment for this article, but it's worth noting that juniors who do leave for other banks may have a shock. On average, Goldman Sachs bankers appear to work 14.4 hours a week more than bankers at Citi. Citi also has a work from home policy that enables its people to stay away from the office for at least two days a week, whereas banks like Goldman and JPMorgan increasingly expect juniors in the office. Juniors get Saturdays off and an hour to themselves every day. Once a month, Citi also has a "disconnect weekend" in which junior bankers don't work at all from 5pm on Friday to 9am on Monday. And every year, Citi's analysts and associates are obliged to take two weeks of holiday when they're fully disconnected from work.  

Effectively, therefore, Citi is a U.S. bank that allows juniors to select lower pay along with lower working hours. European banks like BNP Paribas do the same, but pay even less. Some associates at Citi were also paid extra bonuses in recent years to mark their promotion from analyst to associate.

Not all Citi juniors are convinced, though. One U.S. associate complained of being made to toil very hard only to be paid a comparative pittance. "I am very frustrated and demotivated," he said, "My general feeling is to leave very soon." He may possibly be compelled to work even harder as a result. 

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Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com in the first instance. Whatsapp/Signal/Telegram also available (Telegram: @SarahButcher)

Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Le
    Leaving Citi
    6 February 2022

    I don’t agree with the gentle working hours, I am working 80 hours per week at Citi and got very low bonus. Confirm that Citi did not increase their salary again and bonus for analyst and associate were very low vs peers

  • Ka
    Karan Nahata
    5 February 2022

    I am on the same boat, i was told that i will be getting atleast 15-20% bonus while joining but i got nice rating but bonus was less than 7% of my base pay. When i escalated it, i was told your base was high compare to others but i never negotiated while joining then why i was offered to start with and also gave incorrect info on bonus%. Yes working hours are crazy with no personal life thats why there is hight attrition rate.

  • le
    leavingciti
    4 February 2022

    it's not only lower bonus but also the base salary which is 15-20% lower than competitor already.

  • Ci
    Cititruther
    4 February 2022

    I'm a senior associate at Citi and I'm sorry, but this just doesn't resonate at all. We are 100% working the kinds of crazy brutal hours you get across the bulge bracket and get none of these weekends or hours off you mention in this article. Bonuses have just been crushingly bad.

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