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What Trends Do Bank Earnings Reveal?
• Mixed trends in headcount growth
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• Compensation is up across the board with the exception of Goldman and JPMorgan—both of whom saw an increase in headcount. Comp is up at Citi, despite a 3% reduction in staff.
• Occupancy expenses continue to fall, with the exception of JPMorgan and Wells. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley added staff, but still managed to trim occupancy expense.
• Which expenses continue to rise? Technology spending, including expenditures on IT and communications equipment. Citi, JPMorgan, Goldman and Morgan Stanley all spent more on technology than on occupancy during Q3 2017.
Of note: Wells’ comment on CRE lending, which was down $2.6B vs. Q2 2016, whereas Bank of America’s CRE loans were up fractionally on the quarter.