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Wall Street bankers enjoy £104bn payroll bonus

Wall Street bankers enjoy £104bn reward as deal frenzy unleashes war on top financial talent



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Wall Street’s biggest banks raised their pay nearly 15 percent last year as a frenzy of deal-making sparked a war for top financial talent.

JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Citigroup together paid out just over £104 billion in wages and benefits in 2021, compared to the £91 billion paid the year before.

JP Morgan was the largest payer, with £28.2 billion, followed by Bank of America, which paid out £26.5 billion.

JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Citigroup collectively handed out £104 billion in wages and benefits in 2021, compared to £91 billion paid the year before

JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Citigroup collectively handed out £104 billion in wages and benefits in 2021, compared to £91 billion paid the year before

Citigroup paid £18.4 billion in compensation, while Morgan Stanley handed out £18.1 billion and Goldman Sachs £13 billion.

The boom in wages, bonuses and other benefits came as banks looked to keep their employees after a record year of record profits amid a wave of mergers and acquisitions and more companies listing in global stock markets.

Deal closing reached its highest level since records began last year, with an agreed value of more than £4.3 trillion over the year as low interest rates and cash injections into the economy by central banks allow easy access into debt to finance acquisitions.

The increase was a 64 percent year-over-year increase and 54 percent higher than in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

It also sparked a boom in investment bank fees, which totaled a record £115 billion last year.

Most of last year’s higher wages came in the form of thicker bonus checks, rather than higher base salaries, giving banks more flexibility to cut payments if revenues begin to decline, a scenario widely expected this year as the pace picks up. of the deals starts to fall slowly.

However, ever-increasing payroll and costs have worried investors, with Goldman’s fourth-quarter 2021 earnings falling short of forecasts after costs rose 23 percent over the period to £5.3bn.

The bumper pay packages also follow growing frustration and protests over working hours at Wall Street institutions.

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