Brussels outranks Frankfurt in pay league for central bankers

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Mario Draghi may be first among equals in the European Central Bank’s Governing Council, but he certainly isn’t the best paid.
The central bank governors of Belgium, Italy and Germany make more than the ECB president’s annual 386,000 euros ($409,400), data compiled by Bloomberg show. Belgium’s Jan Smets took the crown with about 480,000 euros, almost six times as much as bottom-of-the-list Vitas Vasiliauskas of Lithuania.
There’s little obvious pattern to governors’ pay – Belgium’s economy is barely one eighth the size of neighboring Germany’s, yet Smets earns 10 percent more than Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann. Cyprus, one of the region’s smallest economies, pays its central-bank chief more than does Spain, the fourth-biggest.
Luxembourg, one of the wealthiest nations in the currency bloc for GDP per head, ranks relatively low down the list. Gaston Reinesch received 181,000 in 2015.
The story is similarly divergent outside the euro area. While Bank of England Governor Mark Carney earns 480,000 pounds ($599,000) plus housing benefits, his counterpart at the U.S. Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, made $199,700 last year. Thomas Jordan’s salary at the Swiss National Bank was 876,500 francs ($867,000) – and he also gets an annual train pass.
Still, central bankers’ pay checks pale in comparison with those of the banking executives whose businesses they oversee. Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer John Cryan – who gave up his 2015 bonus – made 1.9 million euros last year, while his counterpart at BNP Paribas SA, Jean-Laurent Bonnafe, received a compensation package of about 3.5 million euros.–With assistance from Milda Seputyte, Dalius Simenas, Fabio Benedetti-Valentini, Jeff Black, Stephanie Bodoni, Catherine Bosley, Boris Cerni, Nikos Chrysoloras, Mark Deen, Georgios Georgiou, Karl Stagno Navarra, Anabela Reis, Maria Tadeo, Radoslav Tomek, Lorenzo Totaro and Christos Ziotis.

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