BofA spends $4.4B on its Wall Street bankers

By David Ellis, staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Bank of America spent $4.4 billion last year on its Wall Street bankers , according to a person familiar with the matter.

The nation's largest bank used 19% of the $23 billion in revenues it generated in 2009 within its markets and investment banking businesses to pay workers' salaries benefits as well as year-end bonuses.

That works out to an average of about $440,000 per employee. The bank has roughly 10,000 workers in its markets and investment banking units.

Bob Stickler, a spokesman for Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), would not confirm the figures, although he said that the company tried to walk a fine line when it structured worker pay this year.

"We are trying to balance the need to pay competitively and to respond to concerns about the level of compensation on Wall Street," said Stickler.

Faced with a public backlash over outsized bonuses, many of the nation's largest financial firms have incrementally lowered pay levels for traders and investment bankers.

Many institutions have offered workers less cash and more stock, in an effort to tie workers' performance with the firm's fortunes and the interest of shareholders.

The use of so-called "clawback" provisions, which would reclaim pay from workers whose actions may damage the firm's long-term financial health, have also gained momentum recently.

The issue of compensation has haunted Bank of America for much of the past year after it was revealed that the firm paid $3.6 billion in year-end bonuses to Merrill Lynch workers for fiscal year 2008. The firm is currently facing two legal actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission over the matter.

Compared to some of its peers, the amount Bank of America spent on its Wall Street employees appeared to fall in the middle of the pack.

Last month, JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) said it spent $9.33 billion to compensate workers in its investment banking division. Divided among the nearly 25,000 individuals in this business, the average annual compensation per employee was nearly $380,000.

Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500) also revealed during the latest earnings season it spent approximately $498,461 a person, if its compensation pool were divided evenly among the firm's 32,500 employees. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,810.06 91.06 0.51%
Nasdaq 4,712.97 11.10 0.24%
S&P 500 2,063.50 10.75 0.52%
Treasuries 2.32 -0.02 -0.86%
Data as of 12:01pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 17.12 0.12 0.71%
Kinder Morgan Inc 39.75 -0.17 -0.43%
Apple Inc 116.47 0.16 0.14%
Intel Corp 35.59 -0.36 -1.00%
Microsoft Corp 47.98 -0.72 -1.48%
Data as of Nov 21

Sections

This arrangement, announced Friday, illustrates how the lines have blurred between traditional TV networks and newfangled options like Netflix. More

The Obama administration is touting that its immigration action will boost wages. But the hike amounts to only $170 a year by 2024. More

Obama doesn't have the authority to create a startup visa, but part of his reform announcement could include a workaround for entrepreneurs: 'parole status.' More

Nearly half of all Americans say there's a chance they'll have to work during a holiday between Thanksgiving and New Year's, according to a new poll. And one in four say they'll have to work whether they want to or not. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.