Banks around the world are slashing bonuses and laying off staff this year, but not so in Canada, where profits at many of the largest financial institutions hit record highs in fiscal 2012, and where bonuses also reached new heights.

Canada’s six largest banks will hand out $10.3 billion in bonuses for 2012, ranging from small sums for retail employees to millions of dollars for top executives. That's up about 8.7 per cent from the $9.47 billion the banks handed out in 2011.

RBC leads the way with an 11-per-cent increase in the total amount it will pay out for bonuses, while CIBC is the only bank reducing its bonus pool, by about 2 per cent. Still, CIBC raised its bonus pool by a whopping 24 per cent in 2011, so the bankers there aren’t missing out too much.

It's all in stark contrast to what is happening in the U.S. and Europe, where the oversized financial sector is finally undergoing some right-sizing, resulting in layoffs and shrinking bonuses. Bonuses on Wall Street are expected to be lower this year, compared to last, and down some 50 per cent since 2006.

Citigroup recently announced 11,000 job cuts, following layoff announcements at Bank of America (16,000 layoffs), Royal Bank of Scotland (3,500), and Deutsche Bank (1,900), among others.

Check out which Canadian banks are handing out the most in bonuses for 2012.

Loading Slideshow...
  • National Bank - $691 million (up 11%)

  • CEO: Louis Vachon

    National Bank CEO Louis Vachon took home $7.5 million in total pay in 2011.

  • CIBC: $1.24 billion (down 2%)

  • CEO: Gerry McCaughey

    McCaughey took home $9.5 million in total pay in 2011.

  • Scotiabank: $1.48 billion (up 9%)

  • CEO: Rick Waugh, Scotiabank - $10.6 Mln

    Scotiabank's Waugh took home $10.6 million in total compensation in 2011.

  • TD Bank: $1.56 billion (up 7.8%)

  • CEO: Ed Clark

    TD's Ed Clark earned $11.3 million in total in 2011.

  • BMO: $1.64 (up 5.2%)

  • CEO: Bill Downe

    BMO's Downe earned $9.9 million in 2011.

  • RBC: $3.65 billion (up 11%)

  • CEO: Gordon Nixon

    RBC's Nixon earned $10.1 million in total in 2011.