(Bloomberg) — Wall Street’s average bonus fell 9 percent to $146,200 in 2015, the biggest drop since 2011, according to estimates by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
The bonus pool was $25 billion, down 6 percent from a year earlier, even as the industry added 4,500 jobs in New York City, DiNapoli said Monday in a statement. The payouts shrank as profits from the broker-dealer operations of New York Stock Exchange member firms declined $1.7 billion to $14.3 billion.
Profit at the six largest U.S. banks rose to $93 billion in 2015, more than double the 2009 level and a 36 percent increase from a year earlier. Still, the industry has been slow to recover from the 2008 global financial crisis. A years-long slump in fixed-income trading revenue and rising litigation costs have forced many banks to cut jobs and reduce pay. The 24- company KBW Bank Index declined 10 percent this year through Friday.
“Wall Street bonuses and profits fell in 2015, reflecting a challenging year in the financial markets,” DiNapoli said in the statement. “While the cost of legal settlements appears to be easing, ongoing weaknesses in the global economy and market volatility may dampen profits in 2016.”
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. plans to eliminate more than 5 percent of traders and salespeople in its fixed-income business, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg last week. Bank of America Corp., which cut more than 10,000 jobs last year, will dismiss about 150 trading and investment-banking employees this week as part of the firm’s periodic cull of low performers, people familiar with the matter said last week.
Smaller bonuses mean New York City will be forced to contend with lower tax revenue this year and next, Kathryn Wylde, chief executive officer of the Partnership for New York City, said in an e-mailed statement.