Skip to Content

Why Bankers Are Getting Smaller Bonuses This Year

184926839184926839
A new report says Wall Street bonuses are expected to drop for the first time in four years.Photograph by Rob Friedman — Getty Images

When the end of 2015 rolls around next month, employees in the banking industry may not be feeling all that merry and bright.

An annual report out Monday from consulting firm Johnson Associates says compensation for the banking industry as a whole is expected to drop for the first time in four years as bonuses are projected to slip 5% to 10%, according to the New York Times.

The decline is tied to the turbulent global markets that hurt the returns of money managers and dinged the pay of asset-management employees and investment bankers as companies stalled their plans to go public. Bonus packages for fixed-income traders are also expected to shrink for the fifth year in a row due to new regulation on risk-taking. The Johnson report is based on data from about 30 of the largest financial institutions.

The industry’s ongoing uncertainty could result in job cuts as companies eye better returns, Alan Johnson, managing director of Johnson Associates told the Wall Street Journal. The axe has already fallen at Deutsche Bank (DB), which announced it was eliminating 15,000 jobs and pulling out of 10 countries last month.

But as the New York Times points out, it’s not all doom and gloom for those in finance. The average bonus in the securities industry last year was $172,860.