Deutsche Bank's co-CEO says paying big bonuses to bankers is like giving candy to babies

Deutsche Bank co-CEO John Cryan took a big shot at one of banking’s most sacred cows — the bonus.

Cryan voiced frustration at the way bankers are paid, and how much money they expect over the course of a year.

He said banks promise high bonuses and are then put “in the ridiculous position where the baby’s been given the candy and you’ve got the difficulty of taking it away,” Cryan said in Frankfurt, as reported by Nicholas Comfort at Bloomberg News.

This is a big warning for staff of Deutsche Bank, which is overhauling its management structure in a bid to boost profits.

With Cryan seeking to cut costs, there may be a few disappointed bankers come bonus time next year.

Many bankers think they should be paid like entrepreneurs “for turning up to work with a regular salary, a pension and probably a health-care scheme and playing with other people’s money,” he said.

“There doesn’t seem to be anything entrepreneurial about that except the compensation structures,” said Cryan, who took over from Anshu Jain earlier this year.

Cryan’s own pay packet hasn’t been disclosed yet by the bank, but Jain earned about €6.6 million in 2014, according to the Bloomberg report.

“I have no idea why I was offered a contract with a bonus in it because I promise you I will not work any harder or any less hard in any year, in any day because someone is going to pay me more or less,” said Cryan.

Cryan is at least consistent in his message that money shouldn’t be the sole motivation to do a good job.

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