The public antipathy directed at bank executives since the financial crisis that started in 2008 hasn’t done much to derail steady compensation increases for bank CFOs.
According to a new report from SNL Financial, median total compensation for finance chiefs at all U.S. banks and thrifts rose 13% in 2013, reaching $324,243. That continued a recent trend: in 2009 the median was $217,111, and over the next three years it climbed by 6%, 8% and 16%.
The total compensation for bank CFOs was a median of 52% of same-bank CEO pay.
Of course, those compensation numbers are a small fraction of what CFOs at large banks pocket. Leading the way in 2013 was Stephen Crawford of Capital One Financial, with total compensation of more than $12.5 million. Not only did Crawford have the highest total compensation (though 87% percent of it was in the form of stock awards), his pay was vastly greater as a ratio of pay to bank assets than was the case for the next four highest-paid bank CFOs, who worked for the four largest U.S. banks (see chart below).
The best such ratio among the 10 highest-earning bank CFOs was enjoyed by Victor Santoro. He earned $5.16 million for running finance at PacWest Bancorp, which had assets of just $6.53 billion.
The highest-paid CFO at banks with under $1 billion in assets, John Haddock of Chattanooga, Tenn.-based First Security Group, earned more than some shareholders would have preferred. A group of them sent a letter to the company in May alleging that First Security’s executive officers were granted stock options in excess of the amount allowed under the company’s long-term incentive plan adopted in 2012, according to SNL Financial. First Security denied the allegations in a Form 8-K filed June 10.
An underwhelming majority of shareholders, just under 70%, approved the compensation at the company’s June 18 annual meeting. For a vast majority of public companies, more than 90% of shareholders approve of executive-pay plans.