Wall Street pay is trending lower this year as weak first-quarter earnings, a tough business environment and regulatory restraints will result in cuts across almost all of the industry's lines of business, a new report from compensation consultant Johnson Associates shows.
"I think this is the first time since the (financial) crisis we've seen everyone trend down," said Alan Johnson, managing director of Johnson Associates.
The report is based on results from the first three months of the year, so the outlook might change, Johnson said. However, he did note there has been a psychological change among his firm's clients. Financial companies expect the environment to be harder going forward, marked by more competition, low interest rates for longer and more regulation.
"There is a long list of things, and our clients put this together and say it's just going to get harder," Johnson said.
Incentive pay in the financial industry will decline between 5 percent and 20 percent this year, the report said. The exception to this will be in retail and commercial banking, where pay will be flat to up 5 percent.