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NY Probes Bank of America's Bonuses

POSTED: 10:34 AM ET, 11/14/2008 by Derek Kravitz

New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo has subpoenaed Bank of America for a list of every executive who received a bonus of more than $250,000 over the past two years, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Cuomo's office sent letters requesting information from the nine institutions that received $125 billion in federal funding as part of the U.S. Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program. The Journal's Amir Efrati, citing anonymous sources, reported that Cuomo was dissatisfied with Bank of America's response to the inquiry.

At least some of the bonuses paid out to Bank of America executives are publicly available through the company's public filings. Companypay.com, for example, has compiled a list of the top compensated executives at Bank of America over the past few years.

Bonuses would generally be listed as restricted stock awards or as "non-equity incentive plan compensation."

For example, Kenneth D. Lewis, Bank of America's president and chief executive, received $4.25 million in non-equity cash bonuses in 2007, along with another $4.25 million in restricted stock. (Lewis was named "Banker of the Year" by the trade publication American Banker recently, which The New York Times noted is "like being named the outstanding British soldier of 1776.")

The Times also points out that the number is less than half of Lewis's target bonus of $18.5 million in cash and restricted stock, reflecting the fact that Bank of America "significantly missed" its three main financial goals for the year. (Bank of America's profit for 2007 was down 29 percent from the previous year.)

Bank of America executive Anne Finucane was among the banking executives who told the Senate Banking Committee yesterday that bonuses would be slashed this year. Finucane said the bonus pool would be less than half the size of last year's, Bloomberg reports.

By Derek Kravitz |  November 14, 2008; 10:34 AM ET
Previous: Transition Watch, Sen. Stevens' Fate, Wall Street Bucks Regulation | Next: Report: Design Flaw Caused Bridge Collapse

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