A survey of recruiters shows lower pay is in store for new hires on Wall Street.

London-based global research firm The Smart Cube found that in the U.S. more than 40% of recruiters expected compensation to decline by as much as 20% for job offers on Wall Street. Another 22% of recruiters surveyed said compensation would decline 11% to 16%.

Recruiters working with U.K.-based financial firms were also as pessimistic; about 50% expect pay for new hires to fall by 16%.

Additionally, recruiters reported Street firms are trending towards slashing or eliminating signing bonuses for new hires and that i-banks will only seek new employees in areas of "critical" importance. As a result of the compensation pressure on new hires, senior level candidates are concerned about making compensation demands that are too high and are far less receptive to jumping ship to another firm, the survey found.

On the bright side recruiters, overall, felt that the situation in financial institutions was less severe than it was during the downturn stemming from the burst of the dotcom bubble. However, the Smart Cube reported that recruiters were unable to identify any "safe" positions, meaning those seemingly relatively secure.

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