Bank Watch

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan got 25% raise in 2016

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan talks during an interview at the Convention Center in uptown Charlotte in December.
Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan talks during an interview at the Convention Center in uptown Charlotte in December. dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

Bank of America chief executive Brian Moynihan was awarded $20 million for his performance in 2016, a 25 percent jump from the previous year.

The pay package is the biggest Moynihan has received since becoming CEO of the Charlotte-based bank in 2010, topping the $16 million he received in 2015.

His pay for 2016 included $18.5 million in stock, as well as an unchanged base salary of $1.5 million, according to a securities filing Friday.

As in recent years, Moynihan, 57, did not receive a cash bonus. Of his stock award, 50 percent will be fully paid out only if the bank meets specific financial goals.

Moynihan, who is also chairman, inherited a raft of challenges when he took over the bank, including legal fallout from its 2008 purchase of mortgage company Countrywide Financial. Since then, he has worked to resolve crisis-era litigation, slash costs and streamline a company that became bloated from years of acquisitions.

In Friday’s filing, Bank of America noted the company posted a profit of $17.9 billion in 2016, 13 percent higher than the previous year and the second-highest in company history. The bank also cited revenue growth, lower expenses, “historically low” loan losses and $6.6 billion in capital returned to shareholders in 2016, among other accomplishments.

Independent bank analyst Nancy Bush credited Moynihan with having “brought the company around” but said challenges remain for the bank, the biggest being the need to cut more expenses. The pay bump seems a “reasonable move,” given the work Moynihan has done, she said.

“It’s a tacit recognition ... that he’s improved things, but they’ve still got a rough road ahead of them,” Bush said. “When he was brought in there, it was pretty much a given on everybody’s part that that the bank wasn’t going to make it. He’s got hurdles to go, but he’s pointed it in the right direction, and I think he knows how to get there.”

Bank of America continues to lag some of its peers in key performance measures. Those include its efficiency ratio, a measure of how much it costs a bank to generate a dollar of revenue, as well as return on assets, which reflects how well a bank is using its assets to generate profits.

Moynihan must hit certain performance targets over the next three years or else he could forfeit some of the newly awarded stock units, according to Friday’s securities filing. Moynihan forfeited 58 percent of the performance-based shares he was awarded in 2013 because targets were not met, according to the bank.

Among other banks, New York’s JPMorgan Chase gave Jamie Dimon a $28 million compensation package for 2016, or 3.7 percent more than a year earlier, Bloomberg reported last month. On Friday, Citigroup said CEO Michael Corbat’s 2016 pay would drop 6 percent to $15.5 million , including $14 million in stock and bonus.

Wells Fargo has not yet disclosed 2016 compensation for CEO Tim Sloan, who took over last year after John Stumpf resigned in the wake of the San Francisco-based bank’s sales scandal.

Bank of America last year announced a boost in pay for its lowest-paid workers, to $15 an hour from $13.50 previously. That took effect earlier this month.

Deon Roberts: 704-358-5248, @DeonERoberts

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