KPMG: Big four firm to freeze pay for 12,000

KPMG has frozen pay for its deals team again after already slashing bonuses in May

Big four firm KPMG has announced it will freeze the pay of 12,000 staff, as the services sector continues to be hit by a major slowdown.

The freeze was first reported by the FT, with staff only getting a pay boost if they get a formal promotion, ahead of the Christmas break.

Partners at KPMG are said to be paid upwards of £700,000 annually, before bonuses.

This comes as all of the so-called ‘big four’: KPMG, EY, Deloitte and PwC, have announced a series of job cuts and pay freezes in recent months.

With inflation still above the Bank of England’s two per cent target at 4.6 per cent, the pay freezes will for many be real-terms cuts.

On 10 November, KPMG slashed bonuses for its UK deals team, after having already cut payouts for the deals division by around half in May.

Last month, KPMG said it was planning a wave of job cuts and salary freezes in its UK deal advisory division, with the professional services giant saying a subdued deals market and challenging economic landscape has driven down demand.

Around 110 employees, some six per cent of the UK deals business workforce, are expected to be laid off.

But KPMG isn’t the only culprit – with the entire services sector indulging in job cuts and pay freezes, as demand is hit by a major slowdown.

In August, it was reported EY was poised to slash a number of jobs and warned staff they will face more meagre pay rises and smaller bonus pots.

Meanwhile, in June of this year, PwC announced it would hand more than 25,000 junior members of staff a hefty pay cut. Earlier this month, PwC also announced 600 jobs were to be cut, as the slowdown continued to bite.

Deloitte also announced 800 jobs were to be slashed in October, with consulting hit hardest.

A KPMG UK spokesperson, told City A.M.: “To attract and retain the best talent, we benchmark our salaries each year to remain competitive and we continue to invest in our people. In light of softened market demand this year, any pay increases have prioritised those who have been promoted.

“We will be rewarding eligible colleagues for their efforts this year with a bonus. However, reflecting the challenging economic and market environment, this will be lower than in previous years.”