1:13pm

Tue November 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Report: Wall Street Bonuses Will Decline 20 To 30 Percent This Year

After two years of record payouts, Wall Street bonuses will take a hit this year, a new report says. The report finds that on average Wall Street workers will get an end-of-year bonus check worth 20 to 30 percent less than last year.

NBC News reports:

The report fromJohnson Associates, a compensation consulting firm, said recent economic uncertainty and roiling world markets are driving many financial services firms to reduce the pot of money they allocate toward bonuses.

"This year started with great promise for a banner year on Wall Street, but hopes for larger bonuses faded over the summer and continue to dim as we approach year end," Alan Johnson, managing director of Johnson Associates, said in a release announcing the results.

As Reuters reports, bonuses are key to compensation on Wall Street. "Traders, bankers and top executives typically receive base salaries of $100,000 to $1 million, but most of their compensation comes as bonuses," Retuers reports.

A 20 to 30 percent hit is big. But that doesn't mean, they still won't keep quite a chunk of money. The AFP reports on some past-year bonuses:

Last year, for instance, JPMorgan Chase chief executive James Dimon had a base salary of just $1 million, but a cash bonus of $5 million and stocks and options grants that took total pay to more than $20 million, according to compensation specialists Equilar.

The Johnson study said that compensation models on Wall Street have been changing since the financial crisis, due in part to tougher regulations.

The crisis has been blamed in part on bankers' excessive risk-taking that was partly driven by the promise of bonuses many times their regular salaries.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.