Are banks really that different from one another?

I know this site obsesses over GS/JPM/MS a lot, but how much "better" are they compared to other BBs (C/CS/BARC/BAML/UBS/DB) on the street regarding (1) culture (2) workload (3) pay (4) structure?

Is the difference just blown out of proportion on this site, or are the banks actually a lot more similar than people like to describe? I've heard mixed reviews, where some say it's night and day, others who say most banks give similar experiences. Minus prestige, are "lower-tier" banks really that different from "mid-tier" and "top" banks? 

Would love to hear from anyone who has experienced both sides, or has friends at these banks. 

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Comments (9)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 25, 2020 - 4:44pm

Dont compare Barc/UBS/DB with GS/MS/JP/BofA/Citi/CS

I see a greater difference between mid & bottom and top & mid.

Even inside of those mid ones there is one who is closer from the top ones than from that commonly known as mid tier peers

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Oct 25, 2020 - 10:13pm

Barclays is definitely a mid-tier BB, and in most of the coverage groups, the most competitive with GS/MS/JPM. To OP's question, outside of prestige, every BB is fairly the same in workload, pay, and structure. Culture might be the biggest differentiator, but even this comes down to the specific group.  

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Oct 25, 2020 - 5:54pm

Didn't read the whole post but yeah, not only are each banks different but each group is different. I know a friend at a satellite office of a top bank. There are two groups in that office, one works until 2am everyday the other leaves 10pm everyday. both very good groups

Oct 25, 2020 - 6:42pm

They are not that different beyond places like this forum and undergraduate IB clubs. Groups within banks, people, culture will differ, but the experience...not so much.

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Feb 21, 2021 - 6:25pm

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