Wells Fargo increasing executives salaries

Associated Press

Wells Fargo & Co. said Thursday it was increasing the salaries of its top four executives, including Chief Executive John Stumpf.

Executive compensation at banks has been a hot-button topic in recent months, especially for firms like Wells Fargo that received government bailout funds last fall. Wells Fargo received $25 billion as part of the Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program, which was launched at the peak of the credit crisis.

The increases in salary will not be paid in cash but through company stock. The stock cannot be sold until the TARP money is repaid.

Aside from Stumpf, Wells Fargo is raising the salaries of Dave Hoyt, head of wholesale banking; Mark Oman, head of home and consumer finance; and Howard Atkins, chief financial officer.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo said the increases will bring its executives' pay in line with management at other top banks.

The increase in salaries were also done after considering recent guidance from the Treasury Department, the company said in a statement. Banks that received the money also must adhere to certain compensation restrictions until they repay the Treasury Department.

Stumpf will continue to collect a $900,000 cash salary, and will also receive $4.7 million in stock annually.

Hoyt will receive about $3.2 million in stock to go along with his $700,000 cash salary. Oman will receive about $3.3 million in stock and his $600,000 cash salary. Atkins will receive about $2.6 million in stock on top of his $700,000 salary.

Politicians have recently questioned the methods big banks use to determine compensation packages, especially in the wake the government's bailout.

Last week, New York Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo released details on bonuses paid in 2008 to the initial nine banks the government agreed to provide with TARP funds, including Wells Fargo.

Cuomo's report showed that Wells Fargo paid out $977.5 million in bonuses to employees in 2008, including Wachovia Corp. employees. For some top executives, bonuses often make up the bulk of their annual compensation.

Stumpf did not receive any bonus in 2008.

Wells Fargo acquired Charlotte, N.C.-based Wachovia at the end of last year.

Wells Fargo's 2008 bonus payments were smaller than all but two of the initial nine banks that received TARP money.

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