Wall Street bonuses fell 2% for 2023, New York Comptroller says

By Thomson Reuters Mar 19, 2024 | 4:03 AM

By Tatiana Bautzer

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street’s cash bonuses fell 2% to an average $176,500 last year as financial firms took a more cautious approach to compensation, according to an estimate by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

The lower payouts came even as industry profits climbed 1.8% in 2023.

“Wall Street’s average cash bonuses dipped slightly from last year, with continued market volatility and more people joining the securities workforce,” DiNapoli said in a statement.

The industry’s bonus pool stood at $33.8 billion for 2023, broadly in line with 2022. In 2021, it surged to a record $42.7 billion as capital markets and dealmaking boomed.

The state and city have already budgeted for lower tax revenue from financial workers, DiNapoli said. The securities industry accounts for about 27% of annual state tax collections and 7% for New York City.

The industry employed 198,500 people in 2023, up from 191,600 the prior year, the report showed. The increase in headcount came as major U.S. banks cut more than 23,000 jobs worldwide.

About 1 in 11 jobs in New York City is either directly or indirectly associated with the sector, the comptroller’s report showed.

(Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer, editing by Lananh Nguyen and Miral Fahmy)