Bank salaries increase, but so does competition for talent

Crowe survey reveals current bank salary benchmarks and human resource trends


CHICAGO (Sept. 14, 2023) – While the “Great Resignation” might have subsided, year-over-year data shows that banks continue to struggle to retain younger talent. According to the 2023 “Crowe Bank Compensation and Benefits Survey,” nearly 65% of respondents noted it’s been somewhat or very challenging to remain competitive among the younger workforce population. In addition, officer-level turnover increased for the second year in a row – up from 3% in 2021 to more than 6% in 2023. 

Crowe, a public accounting, consulting and technology firm with offices around the world, conducted its 42nd annual bank compensation and benefits survey from mid-April to mid-June of this year. The report compiles data from 388 financial service organizations and includes information on benefits, incentives, director compensation and current trends in key human capital management practices, as well as salary and bonus benchmarks for 272 job positions. 

“A competitive job market has allowed both new and existing talent to evaluate what’s important,” said John Epperson, managing principal of financial services at Crowe. “Banks aren’t just competing for talent amongst their peers anymore, they’re often going head-to-head with organizations and industries that may offer more entrepreneurial experiences, flexibility and nontraditional accommodations.” 

Noted in the findings, banks have started addressing these concerns with 70% of banks allowing one or more days of remote work per week – compared to 52% last year. Further, nearly 11% indicated a willingness to hire fully remote positions in some areas. 

While keeping their workforce within a specific geographic footprint remains the most desirable for banks, they’re encountering a generation of employees that wants freedom and mobility,” said Stephanie White, financial services consulting senior manager at Crowe. “The adoption of trends like hybrid work show that this once-traditional industry may finally be open to change.” 

Epperson noted macroeconomic trends of industry convergence might also be transforming financial services. “As banks continue to seek relevance, they’re looking for solutions and business models that provide value for their customers in new ways – often products and services not historically offered by banks. This is creating new roles and opportunities within banks that may help attract younger talent who, until now, looked toward technology-focused organizations and industries when seeking opportunities for innovation,” he said.

According to the survey, the leading turnover rationales at banks were lack of career development (45%) and inadequate total compensation (42%). Last year we saw significant pay increases across many industries, including financial services. Although still a factor in 2023, data shows those increases are beginning to normalize to pre-pandemic levels in the banking industry. For employees who met performance expectations, the average salary increase in 2023 was 4.5%, compared to 8.5% last year. 

Among the roles with highest percentage pay increases from 2022 to 2023 were hourly positions, such as teller (2.4%-9%, varied by level), teller operations supervisor (14%) and item processing (9%). Epperson noted the employees within this salary range have career options outside of financial services organizations that might come with less responsibility and more flexibility. 

Other key survey findings include:

  • Top reported human resource management issues included finding and retaining the right people, leader and employee development and performance motivation. 
  • The median salary of CEOs/presidents in 2023 was over $280,000, a 13% increase since 2021. 
  • The chief compliance officer saw the second largest one-year salary change among officers, with a 6% increase. According to White, this increase is likely because CCOs are tasked with overseeing an industry that’s under increased regulatory scrutiny, leading to a higher demand for this limited talent pool. 
  • The teller position remains the most difficult to fill. Since 2021, entry-level teller median salaries increased by 17% to nearly $32,000, and experienced teller median salaries increased by 15% to more than $33,000. 
  • The highest three-year percentage pay increase among all positions continued to be the top retail banking officer, with a median pay increase of 21% since 2021. 
  • Although diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) has come to the forefront in many industries in recent years, about 53% of survey respondents had not yet acted on DE&I initiatives at their own organizations. 

For more information on the survey findings, please see the 2023 Crowe Bank Compensation and Benefits Survey Highlights

About the survey 
The 2023 “Crowe Bank Compensation and Benefits Survey” was completed by 388 financial services companies varying in asset size and geographic location. The participant breakdown is as follows: 75 organizations had less than $250 million in total assets, 100 had between $250 million and $500 million in total assets, 102 had between $500 million and $1 billion in total assets, 98 had between $1 billion and $5 billion in total assets and 13 had more than $5 billion in total assets. The survey was open from April 12, 2023, through June 15, 2023. 

About Crowe 
Crowe LLP is a public accounting, consulting and technology firm with offices around the world. Crowe uses its deep industry expertise to provide audit services to public and private entities. The firm and its subsidiaries also help clients make smart decisions that lead to lasting value with its tax, advisory and consulting services, helping businesses uncover hidden opportunities in the market – no matter what challenges the markets present. Crowe is recognized by many organizations as one of the best places to work in the U.S. As an independent member of Crowe Global, one of the largest global accounting networks in the world, Crowe serves clients worldwide. The network consists of more than 200 independent accounting and advisory services firms in more than 130 countries around the world. For more information on the survey findings, please see the 2023 Crowe Bank Compensation and Benefits Survey Highlights. 

Media Contact

Hailey Kruckenberg