The Financial Post reports in its Thursday edition that Canada's Big Six banks set aside $15.2-billion for bonuses in a "polarizing" year likely to bring joy to investment bankers and a little less cheer for investors.
A Bloomberg dispatch to the Post says the banks lifted variable-compensation pools by 6.5 per cent from last year, down from the jump of almost 11 per cent in 2017. "This year is going to be a polarizing one, where some firms pay well and others do not," said Bill Vlaad, a Bay Street recruiter who monitors compensation trends. "Firms that managed to not have large hiccups outside of Canada in 2018 should lead the way in bonuses." This year's gain comes as banks posted a record $25.4-billion of revenue from their capital-markets operations for the fiscal year ended Oct. 31. Scotiabank said performance-based compensation rose 1.6 per cent to $1.62-billion, less than half of last year's 4-per-cent increase. The gain comes in a year when Scotiabank made acquisitions at home and abroad, swelling its employee ranks, while exiting other countries and businesses and scaling back its metals-trading business. Capital-markets revenue declined 2.1 per cent this year as investment-banking fees slid.
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