Bonuses in the City of London finance district are set to fall 22 percent from last year although this will be compensated to a certain extent by a rise in base pay, said a survey by financial services recruitment firm Astbury Marsden.
Astbury Marsden said research it had conducted showed that City workers were expecting an average bonus payment of 19,920 pounds for 2011 -- down from 25,570 pounds last year.
Astbury Marsden chief operating officer Mark Cameron added that at least 12 percent of City employees were expecting zero bonuses for 2011, although staff at managing director level could expect an average bonus payment of 166,000 pounds.
The average base salary of City staff was set to rise to 83,000 pounds from 73,050 in 2010, added the survey.
Investment banks around the world have had to cut costs and lay off staff as they struggle to cope with the market downturn caused by Europe's sovereign debt crisis.
However, Astbury Marsden's Cameron said these job cuts may have actually supported the level of bonus payments in the City due to the side-effect of reducing the number of team members amongst whom the bonus pool needs to be shared.
Despite the ongoing redundancies in the City it is inevitable that there will still be many City workers disgruntled with their bonuses in the New Year, said Cameron.
If they are bringing in income but not being rewarded there is the risk they will look elsewhere. However, given the redundancies that have taken place this will be far less of a problem this year than normal, he added.
Both bulge-bracket and smaller, boutique investment banks have been hit by the market slump.
American firm MF Global had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October, while boutique brokerage Shore Capital warned on Friday that it could make a loss for the year.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter.)