Bad news: Bonuses on Wall Street have fallen as companies were hit by compliance costs

Emma Haslett
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Didn't get the bonus you were expecting? (Source: Getty)

If you're in securities, look away now. A new report has shown the average bonus paid on Wall Street has fallen nine per cent to $146,200 (£102,565) as finance firms' revenues were hit by extra compliance costs.

The figure, by the Office of the New York State Comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli, showed profits at New York City's securities firms fell 10.5 per cent, the third consecutive year of declines, as revenues from trading and underwriting were hit - despite lower expenses in the sector.

That puts Wall Street's total bonus pool at $25bn in during the traditional December to March bonus season, the report added, down six per cent from last year.

"The decline in the average bonus was larger than the decline in the total bonus pool because the pool was shared among a larger number of employees than last year," it added.

The securities industry is one of New York's most lucrative sectors: it accounted for 22 per cent of all private sector wages in the city last year, even though it made up for less than five per cent of jobs. One in nine jobs in New York City are either directly or indirectly associated with it.

There was a glimmer of hope, though: the cost of legal settlements appears to be easing, said DiNapoli.

“[However], ongoing weaknesses in the global economy and market volatility may dampen profits in 2016. Both the state and city budgets depend heavily on the securities industry and lower profits could mean fewer industry jobs and less tax revenue.”

And with Barclays announcing cuts to its investment arm in both London and New York and Deutsche Bank cutting fixed-income roles, that's likely to go for the finance sector on both sides of the pond, too.

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