(Bloomberg) -- Wall Street profits fell 13% in the first half of the year to $8.7 billion, signaling a potential second straight annual decline, according to a report from New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
Legal settlements tied to banks role in triggering the financial crisis are depressing profits after a 30% decline last year to $16.7 billion, DiNapoli said in the report released today. At the same time, bonuses, which rose 15% on average last year to $164,530 -- the highest since the financial crisis -- may climb again as a result of payments deferred from previous years, he said.
Wall Street remains very profitable, but earnings may be constrained this year as the industry pays a price for behavior that contributed to the financial crisis, DiNapoli, a 60-year- old Democrat, said in an e-mailed statement.
Since the beginning of 2009, the six largest bank holding companies, including their securities operations, have agreed to pay an estimated $130 billion in settlement costs, DiNapoli said. Those expenses will probably hold down profits during the second half of 2014, he said.
DiNapolis report analyzed results of the broker-dealer operations of New York Stock Exchange member firms.
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