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China Financial Services Bonus Survey 2017-2018

Rio Goh - 21/06/2018
China Bonus Satisfaction Survey 2018




  • 80% of respondents received a bonus in 2017 - 18 versus 78% in the previous year.
  • Around 20% of respondents who received bonus in 2017-18 received between 20~50% portion of annual salary and almost 20% received over 50% portion of base salary as bonus.
  • 78% received the same amount of bonus or more than the previous year in 2017-18.
  • 85% received a base salary increase, of which almost 40% of respondents received between 6~10% salary increment and 28% received 1~5% salary increment.
  • 39% are positive and very positive about the economic outlook in China; compared with 51% feeling neutral while 10% are negative.
  • Over 40% of respondents were again disappointed with their bonuses; only 19% said they were satisfied given individual and team performance


We surveyed over 200 financial services professionals about their 2017 - 2018 bonuses . The results were reasonably similar to the last two years' results.  In fact, in the main, bonus levels were up year on year.

Much like last year, the overarching sentiment was despite improved performance of a number of professionals divisions and/or firms - bonus levels remained the same as the previous year or were only slightly up.




There was also a marked increase in the number of professionals who received a salary increase. A positive trend no doubt, as the annual growth of salaries has decreased in China for a couple of years. Almost 85% of respondents received a base salary increase. The vast majority (almost 60%) of them receiving between 1- 10 percent: 28% received 1~5% increment while 38.5% received 6~10% increment.




The economic outlook amongst these financial services employees seems to have improved. The markets have remained reasonably buoyant.  Despite the tightening of regulations, the repetitive announcement and policies lifting welcoming more transparent and risk-balanced foreign Financial Institutions; there seems to be less market and industry uncertainty compared with this time last year.

For a bit of fun we asked these financial services participants what they would spend their bonus on this year. The vast majority are unsurprisingly going to use these bonuses to invest (mainly in properties) but also children’s education, further education on self, not many plan to spend on luxury items.

We do see an interesting trend as there are new shops opening up from global asset managers, hedge funds, corporate banks, wealth managers, to all sorts of fin-tech organisations.  This is indeed encouraged by the new policies while creates a phenomenon that professionals’ base salaries will be increased with the higher demands on the market when they jump ships; however, bonus in the newly set up entities may not be a big portion for 2018-19 next year.  Meanwhile, organisations whom wishes to retain their high-performers may need to increase both the salary portion and also the bonus payouts to prevent turnover.

Bonus satisfaction survey | Shanghai 2018