A majority of Bank of America’s board members have given themselves a roughly $36,000 raise, with the lowest-paid member now making almost $280,000 a year.
The raises, in the form of restricted stock, were disclosed in securities filings in June. The Wall Street Journal, which wrote about the raises this week, was the first to report on them.
Bank spokesman Lawrence Grayson said Thursday this is the first time the board has increased the value of its directors’ annual restricted stock awards since 2006. He also pointed out that the board held 26 meetings in 2014 compared with eight meetings in 2006.
Of the bank’s 13 board members, 11 were given the raises. CEO and Chairman Brian Moynihan, who is not paid for sitting on the board, did not receive them. Neither did Jack Bovender, the bank’s lead independent director, whose $364,845 in total compensation for 2014 already surpassed that of most of the bank’s other board members.
Moynihan was paid total compensation of $13 million, mostly in restricted stock, for his performance in 2014, down from $14 million the year before. The lower compensation came as the lender’s 2014 profit fell by 58 percent partly because of a $16.65 billion settlement with the federal government over toxic mortgages.
The raises come at a time when some shareholders are frustrated with the board over its surprise decision last fall to name Moynihan chairman.
Some shareholders became upset over not being given a say in the change, which overrode a 2009 shareholder vote separating the chairman and CEO roles. In response to the backlash, the bank is holding a special shareholders meeting in Charlotte on Sept. 22 for investors to vote on whether the roles should be combined.
At Wells Fargo for 2014, the lowest-paid board member made $263,035. At Citigroup, the lowest-paid board members made about $244,000, while at JPMorgan Chase & Co. the lowest-paid director earned $300,000.