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BofA Said to Cut Bonus Pool for Equities Traders Up to 10%

Bank of America Corp. cut the bonus pool for equities traders and sales staff by as much as 10 percent as the division’s revenue declined last year, said three people with knowledge of the matter.

Employees were told Thursday about their bonuses, which will be paid in mid-February, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing compensation details.

Wall Street firms have curtailed compensation this year amid low client activity, weak performance in the final weeks of the year and rising costs to comply with new regulations. Equities trading revenue at the five biggest Wall Street firms slipped 1.3 percent to $25.3 billion in 2014.

“Companies have much greater control over compensation these days,” said Richard Lipstein, managing director of New York-based recruiting firm Gilbert Tweed International. “There’s much less movement on Wall Street than there used to be.”

Bank of America’s equities sales and trading revenue, excluding accounting adjustments, fell 1.8 percent to $4.15 billion from 2013, the company said earlier this month. Revenue failed to keep pace with expense growth last year, global equities chief Fabrizio Gallo told employees at a December town-hall meeting, one of the people said.

Zia Ahmed, a spokesman for Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America, declined to comment.

Citigroup Inc. reduced the bonus pool for equities and fixed-income traders and salespeople by 5 percent to 10 percent on average, a person briefed on the matter said this month. Lackluster performance in the final weeks of the year moved managers to change a plan to keep the bonus pool unchanged from 2013, the person said.

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