To the average person, talks of bankers getting hundreds of thousands of pounds in bonuses each year annoys them, in some cases rage is induced. But what if you ask yourself, why do they earn so much? Imagine you are a stock trader. You deal with budgets in the millions, and you do a damn good job, and make over 50% profit with ease. Now if you got paid just your salary ( say... £100k), then you have been given a mere quarter of what you have earned. So you are given a bonus proportional to your performance and all is good and well. Now to me I see no harm in this at all, I think it is a very fair system. However I do have some gripes with the reality of the banking world. 1. Some people are still paid bonuses after loosing money for their company. 2. The guys at the top, this is where the corruption is. The heads of banks are often on their friends (possibly their own) committee where their pay is decided. These peoples bonuses are far far too huge. Instead the money should go more to the share holder. And before anyone says that a 50% profit is unreasonable, I'd say that is a very low performance for a banker. Although having no job experience as a stock trader. Earlier in my year at university all of the Maths/economics/stats/business etc... students were invited to join what was called the UBS challenge, basically the goal was simple, you are given £100k fake money to 'invest' in the stock market over the course of 1 month, the top perfomers go to the final where there is a posh hotel and brilliant outdoor activities. Also if you answered 10questions on UBS then you were given an extra £100k to play with. I myself only made ~20k but I had one friend who made 50K and another who made ~120k. 10%,25%,60% respectively. If you say on an average month we make half as much as this, then take that for the whole year, your looking at profits of 80%,410%,and 2300% respectively. Also bear in mind that I spent around 2hours a week maximum on this game, not the 12hours a day that a stock trader will do. (Btw, around 8 of us got through to the final and had a great time ) So do these people really get paid too much? Probably not no.