Financial results of at least seven of the largest investment banks show that the amounts they paid to employees in 2009 were less than in previous years relative to their revenues. HSBC, for example, lowered its compensation-to-revenues ratio for investment-bank employees from 36% in 2008 to 22% last year. JPMorgan Chase's ratio dropped from 62% to 33%, and Royal Bank of Scotland's compensation ratio plunged from 76% to 27%. Citigroup indicated in a report that this might be the beginning of a trend. "We are forecasting structurally lower compensation ratios," analysts at Citigroup said.

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