Some staff at the largest banks are about to get big, fat zeroes for bonuses while they watch markets thrive.
Reuters reports that trading revenue was down significantly across the industry during the fourth quarter, wrapping up a year in which clients around the globe sat idle as market volatility hovered near historic lows.
The big five Wall Street banks – JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley – reported an average revenue decline of 32% for the fourth quarter, and 12% for the full year. Even though stock markets hit new highs and bond markets moved little, executives said it was hard to generate income from inactive customers.
As a result, bonuses could be 10% - 20% lower than the prior year, and traders who sit on desks that posted losses could get nothing at all, consultants and recruiters said in interviews.
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