Scotiabank, TD Post Widest U.K. Pay Gaps of Canada Banks

(Bloomberg) -- Bank of Nova Scotia and Toronto-Dominion Bank have some of the widest gender pay disparities among Canadian lenders in their U.K. operations, according to regulatory disclosures.

Scotiabank, Canada’s third-biggest lender, pays women 44 percent less than men on average in the U.K., with the gap widening to 72 percent for bonuses, according to regulatory disclosures. Scotiabank’s London operations fall under the bank’s capital markets division, where the Toronto-based bank employs about 300 people, of which 35 percent are women.

“Scotiabank’s U.K. operations is solely a wholesale bank,” the lender said in a statement. “The industry-wide disproportionate representation of men in front office roles in this business impacts the extent of a pay gap. We know there is still work to be done to increase gender diversity at senior levels of the bank.”

Toronto-Dominion’s TD Securities operations saw women paid 43 percent less than men, with the gap widening to 63 percent for bonuses, a filing shows. Canada’s second-biggest bank has 284 employees in its European capital markets business, based in London. Of the ranks, 31 percent are women.

“We look at our compensation programs on an ongoing basis to make sure that we are market competitive,” Chief Executive Officer Bharat Masrani told reporters in Toronto last week. “For a similar type of role we also strive to make sure that it is gender neutral. Unfortunately some of these ratios that come out are not reflective. It’s not like-for-like jobs.”

Trudeau Cabinet

The pay gaps at Canada’s banks stand in contrast to the feminist agenda pushed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trudeau, who has a gender-balanced cabinet, released a budget in February that includes funding to narrow the pay gap among federal employers, help women into male-dominated jobs and provide five weeks of paid leave for new fathers who stay at home.

Companies with 250 or more workers in Britain were required to report a uniform assessment of what women earn versus men by April 4. Some of the widest gaps have appeared at banks such as HSBC Holdings Plc and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which pay women less than half of what men earn on average. That’s largely because women are under-represented in senior roles.

“As an industry globally we’ve struggled to attract more diverse talent into some of those roles that are at the upper end of the compensation market -- they come with a lot of sacrifices and they’re different types of jobs that don’t appeal to everybody," Royal Bank of Canada CEO David McKay told reporters Friday after the lender’s annual meeting in Toronto. “But we have work to do."

Royal Bank, the country’s biggest lender, showed a range of disparity for its three U.K. entities -- RBC Investor Services Trust, RBC Europe Ltd. and Royal Bank of Canada (London Branch). Across the divisions, women earn an average 39 percent less than their male counterparts, and 69 percent for bonuses, disclosures show. Among the Toronto-based bank’s U.K. divisions, the biggest gap was at RBC Europe, where women earned 51 percent less then men.

Important Conversation

BlueBay Asset Management, a London-based money manager owned by Royal Bank, had an average hourly pay gap of 19 percent between genders, and 56 percent difference for bonuses, according to the firm’s disclosures.

“The UK Gender Pay Gap report does not compare pay between employees in similar roles for similar work; rather the difference in average pay between men and women arises because we have more men than women in senior roles," Royal Bank said in a statement.

Bank of Montreal, which owns F&C Asset Management in the U.K., had a pay gap of 34 percent within its global asset management business in the country, and 82 percent gap with bonuses, according to its filings.

Hargreave Hale, the British money manager acquired by Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. in September, disclosed an average hourly pay gap of 82 percent for women to men, and 93 percent on bonuses. The firm employed 262 staff, which included 125 women.

“We have analysed our pay by gender which has revealed a sizeable gender disparity in certain roles,” the firm said, according to its report. The company has very few women in more highly paid and senior management roles, the company said, and this has significantly impacted its pay gap.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.