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Excitement on BNP Paribas credit desk as bonuses loom into view after a good year

Depending upon who you talk to and when, BNP Paribas' credit business either had a great 2019, or not so much. However, now that the year is over, insiders are settling on the first interpretation.

Despite a difficult 12 months hit by defections, ill-health and heart attacks, revenues in European BNP's credit business are understood to have ended the year up, and not just by a small amount - by over 100%.

BNP didn't respond to a request to comment on the claims. The French bank announces its bonuses in early February, so traders in London and Paris will be feeling hopeful. Last year, regulated staff (who include senior traders) at BNP's corporate and investment bank (CIB) were paid an average salary of €379k and an average bonus of €358k. 

BNP's credit business in Europe is led by Arne Groes, while the U.S. business is run by Laurent Samama. BNP suffered numerous exits in European credit in 2019 following the earlier disappearance of popular trader Matt Smith, but also made hires in the form of CEEMEA debt trader Akash Garg and head of high yield Sarosh Siddiqui. Insiders said most of the gains were driven by the investment grade and primary businesses.

Whether BNP will pay bonuses commensurate with its increased revenues remains to be seen. BNP is cutting costs and one of the credit traders who left last year said he was disappointed with the pay. "They have a tendency to promise a lot and then fail to deliver," he complained.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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