A good shock, or a bad shock ?
They're in for a shock.
And that's not to mention the pressure from regulators for pay restraint and, in Europe at least, the risk of a backlash from politicians and the public if an industry which many blame for a new era of austerity were to reward itself generously.
The result will be more zero bonuses, dubbed 'doughnuts', than ever before as banks become more selective at separating revenue-makers from the merely mediocre.
One banker told Here Is The City: 'We're all living in denial, thinking it won't happen to us. A lot of us will have a come to terms with the new reality in the next few weeks'.
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