US banks paid out a total of $20.3bn (£13.1bn) in bonuses for 2009, up 17 per cent from a year earlier, according to figures released yesterday from New York’s tax department.
The pool could top $55bn, nearly triple the previous record year, as markets recovered from their worst downturn in decades.
According to comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli, the average taxable bonuses on Wall Street rose to $123,850, and compensation at Goldman Sachs Group, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley increased by 31 per cent.
For most Americans, these huge bonuses are a bitter pill and hard to comprehend,” DiNapoli said.
Bonuses are a crucial element in New York’s income tax revenue and the state keeps a careful record.