Thursday, October 30, 2008

New York Attorney General Demands Bonus Pay Data From Citigroup, Wells

By Karen Freifeld

Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) -- New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo sent letters to JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and six other banks that received taxpayer bailout funds, demanding bonus information for top management.

Cuomo said he wanted a ``detailed accounting'' of expected payments to top executives in the ``upcoming bonus season,'' including information on the expected bonus pool for this year, according to a copy of the letters sent today. He requested information on bonuses from before and after the banks knew they would receive funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Cuomo told the boards of directors he thought they were in the best position to respond to the requests because top management has a ``significant interest in the size of the bonus pools.'' He said he would have ``grave concerns'' if the expected bonus pool increased in any way as a result of the receipt of taxpayer funds.

``In this new era of corporate responsibility we are entering, boards of directors must step up to the plate and prevent wasteful expenditures of corporate funds on outsized executive bonuses and other unjustified compensation,'' Cuomo wrote in the letter.

The other banks are Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of New York Mellon Corp., Merrill Lynch and Co., Morgan Stanley, State Street Corp. and Bank of America Corp. Representatives of the nine firms declined to comment or couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

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