Higher Bonus Payouts But Bankers Remain Unimpressed

Lionel Kaidatzis April 1, 20193 mins read

Japan’s Financial Services Bonus Survey finds that 46 % of bankers feel ‘neutral’ about their bonus payments and 36 % are again disappointed.

Key Findings of the Japan Bonus Satisfaction Survey

  • 41 % received a higher or significantly higher bonus compared to 2017 - 2018 while 34 % received approximately the same as the year before
  • 48 % received a bonus of 10 - 40% of their annual salary, followed by 24 % receiving over 40 % of their annual salary and 11% receiving 0 - 10%
  • The number of people receiving a bonus stayed at 86 % as the year before
  • 46 % feel ‘neutral’ about the economic outlook in Japan 
  • 46 % felt neutral about their bonus payments; only 19% were satisfied with their bonus payments

Morgan McKinley surveyed 289 financial services professionals about their 2018 - 2019 bonus payments. Our survey results showed that while there was an (admittedly) slight increase in bonus payouts compared to last year, the overall sentiment towards bonuses remains ‘neutral’ among the majority of financial services professionals.


41% received a higher or significantly higher bonus

While professionals in the market seem to be suggesting that bonuses were down compared to the previous year, our actual survey data showed that in fact most bonuses stayed the same or even increased. 

41% received an increased bonus in 2018 - 2019 while another 34% said they received approximately the same bonus payment. 

Increase in Base Salary

55 % received a base salary increase this year which is in line with last year’s data showing that 55% received a base salary increase in 2017 - 2018.

46% Neutral about the Economic Outlook in Japan

While last year 43% expressed they felt positive about the economic outlook in Japan, the number has dropped to only 22% feeling positive this year. 

Professionals have a more negative economic outlook (29%) compared to last year. This could be caused by the tensions between China and the US as well as the potential Brexit implications. The economic outlook is therefore not necessarily centred to Japan, where the Olympics and the Rugby World Cup have created so much positive sentiment in recent years, but it has meant a switch from optimism to caution.

Interestingly, our Salary Guide 2019 Survey shows that the majority of organisations (33%) have in fact maintained hiring over the past 6 months. 

46% feel “neutral” about their bonus payments

When asked, respondents explained that they saw local performance being strong while experiencing a pull back on a global performance level. They feel banks and financial institutions have been reluctant to offer higher bonuses because of “global uncertainty”. 


Japan bonus survey infographic

Lionel Kaidatzis's picture
Managing Director


Large Investment Bank is searching JGB Trader Associate to VP
Leading Multi National Corporation seeking for Head of Credit Card Business
Global Corporate & Investment Bank seeking in Tokyo Associate to VP in Debt Distribution and Syndication.