Bankers are quite optimistic about their 2011 bonuses, according to a survey conducted by eFinancialCareers. This year, about 40% expect their bonus will be bigger than it was last year, 21% expect no change and 9% expect no bonus. Asked why they expect a bigger bonus this year, 34% cited personal performance and 33% noted firm performance. (Among those who expect their bonus to drop, the majority, 52%, said it would be because of firm performance. And among those who don't expect a bonus at all, most, 57%, say it's because their job is not bonus eligible.) And 70% of respondents think industry bonuses in general will increase or remain the same this year as compared to last year.
Last year, among a similar group of bankers, 35.7% expected higher bonuses, 21% expected no change in their bonus and 17% expected no bonus. However, many of these bankers were pleasantly surprised to find at the end of the year that their bonuses did in fact go up. In a follow up survey conducted in January 2010, 46% of the bankers said their bonus had increased and 23% found it had stayed the same.