Twenty-one people employed in financial services in Ireland earned €1 million or more in 2011, according to figures from the European Banking Authority.

Of those classified as high earners, 14 worked in investment banking, three worked in asset management and four were in other business areas.

This compares to 170 similarly well-rewarded workers in Germany, 162 in France, 125 in Spain, 96 in Italy and 36 in the Netherlands.

Britain was by far the biggest employer of high-earning bank officials, with 2,436 workers there earning at least €1 million in 2011.

This is more than the number of high earners working in banks across every other European Union country combined.

The figures, which have been published for the first time, are the result of an obligation on European banking authorities to collect details of those working in financial services who earn €1 million or more.

This information is forwarded to the EBA, which has been working to bring a bloc-wide cap on bankers’ pay into force.

The cap will apply to awards for performance in 2014 and onwards.

Britain had opposed it, which will limit bonuses to no more than fixed salary, but was outvoted by EU countries who believe it will help stop excessive risk-taking intended to win large awards, as in the run-up to the financial crisis.

The EBA has proposed a basic €500,000 salary threshold, above which a bonus can be no higher than fixed pay or twice fixed pay if there is shareholder approval.

The EBA's data on the ratio of fixed pay to bonuses showed the vast majority of high earners in 2011 would have bust the cap by between two and four times, with London's investment bankers at the top end of the scale.

Banks are changing how they pay staff to ease the impact of the cap, such as by bumping up fixed pay to bring down the ratio.