Ireland had 40 bankers earning €1m a year or more in 2013 according to new statistics published by the European Banking Authority.

The figures show the number of high-earning bankers relative to the number of staff employed in banking in Ireland were well ahead of the EU average in that year, the latest for which figures are available.

The numbers are not broken down by institution but are divided according to how many high earners are employed in each banking sector.

There were 5 people here who earned over €1m in 2013 in the retail banking sector, one more than France and only one fewer than in Italy.

The majority of the high earners in Ireland, and across the EU in general, were employed either in asset management or investment banking. 

The number of bankers earning a million euros a year or more in the European Union as a whole, however, has started to fall even before the impact of a cap on bonus payments is fully felt, the bloc's banking watchdog said today. 

There were 3,178 bankers in the EU on at least €1m a year, including bonuses, in 2013, down from 3,530 a year earlier. 

However that was partly due to exchange rates as two-thirds are based in London, the European Banking Authority (EBA) said in its annual update on earnings figures. 

It said its next set of figures for 2014, due to be published at the end of this year, will show a drop in the average ratio of bonuses to fixed pay, highlighting the "full impact" of the bloc's new bonus cap. 

Bankers' pay has faced curbs on how it can be structured since lenders had to be rescued by taxpayers during the 2007-09 financial crisis, sparking public anger. 

The cap, which will affect bonuses awarded from last year, limits a bonus to no more than basic pay or twice that amount with shareholder approval. 

In 2013, the average ratio of bonuses to fixed pay was 104.27%, EBA said. 

This means bonuses were only slightly more than basic pay - for so-called "identified staff" or the high earners who are in key roles and come under tougher scrutiny. 

That represents a fall from 108.74% in 2012 and 204.76% in 2010, but for some lenders the ratio was still 200% or more. 

EBA's report did not give a breakdown of banks' individual pay deals. The cap will force many banks to restructure the pay packets of their top bankers. 

Some lenders had tried to soften the impact of the bonus cap by lifting basic pay through paying additional "allowances", a step the EBA has ruled as being largely contrary to EU law. 

"In addition, the report highlights that remuneration practices within institutions were not sufficiently harmonised. In particular, the application of deferral and pay-out in instruments differed significantly across member states and institutions," the EBA said. 

Based on all staff at banks in the EU, just 0.106% were so-called high earners in 2013. 

The EBA said shrinkage in millionaire bankers in 2013 was partly driven by changes in exchange rates and lower sector profitability. 

The threshold is set at €1m but bankers in Britain - the EU's biggest financial centre - are paid in sterling. 

In 2013, Britain was home to 2,086 bankers earning more than €1m, EBA said. At current exchange rates, however, €1m is worth £731,000.