New York Stock Exchange member firms earned a record $35.7 billion for their broker-dealer operations in the first six months of this year, which is 1-1/2 times above the previous high-water mark set in 2000, the state comptroller said in a report on Tuesday.

Six of the top U.S. banks set aside $112 billion for salaries and bonuses, including deferred payments, during the first nine months of this year, Democratic Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli also reported.

He said this period of extraordinary profitability, coupled with the companies' job cuts, could push their payments to employees above the levels seen in 2007 -- before the financial crisis hit stock markets.

(Reporting by Joan Gralla; Editing by Andrew Hay, Gary Hill)