If the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp’s new executive pay proposal is adopted, top U.S. bankers will have to wait at least three years to collect half of their bonuses.
Lavish Wall Street bonuses were blamed in part for the 2008 financial meltdown, and the Dodd-Frank financial regulation reform law requires bank regulators to ban compensation plans that encourage too much risky behavior by top executives. The FDIC’s plan would require banks with $50 billion or more in assets to defer paying at least 50 percent of a bonus to a CEO and other senior company officers for three years.
"Larger covered financial institutions tend to have more diverse business operations, which can make it more difficult to immediately recognize and assess risks for the organization as a whole," the FDIC said. "Furthermore, in enacting the Dodd-Frank Act,
Congress recognized that larger organizations may pose a greater risk to the financial system by requiring the creation of enhanced prudential standards for certain nonbank financial companies with total consolidated assets greater than $50 billion."
The 77-page proposal will be published soon in the Federal Register, which will start the 45-day clock for public comments on the FDIC plan.
Watch for lots of banks to weigh in with e-mails and lobbying to defend their pay practices for top performers: Executives at Wall Street banks and securities firm took home a record $135 billion in compensation and benefits in 2010, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. That was up nearly 6 percent from $128 billion in 2009.