Wall Street firms are changing their bonus policies, but the revisions are not cutting back the street's appetite for risk, according to a survey by eFinancialCareers.com
The financial careers website, which polled 1,074 financial services professionals, said on Tuesday that about half of the respondents reported their firms had revised bonus policies in the last year.
But 60 percent said current bonus policy has no impact on their appetite for risk-taking.
Banks, as they return to profitability, are grappling with how much to hand out to employees so soon after getting tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts last year. The issue has caught the eye of regulators and the U.S. government's pay czar, who say pay must be tied to long-term performance to avoid promoting risk-taking.
The attitude of professionals about risk-taking is going to change more slowly and evolve over time, said John Benson, founder and CEO of eFinancialCareers.com. I wouldn't be surprised if you saw firms adjust compensation structure more frequently over the next few years.
The survey found that five out of six Wall Street professionals expect a bonus this year; 36 percent expect a bigger payday than last year because 2008 payouts were abnormally low due to the credit crisis.
(Reporting by Steve Eder; editing by John Wallace)