Human Capital & Careers

Pay Surges for Bank CFOs

Led by the $12.5 million pocketed by Capital One's Stephen Crawford, bank CFOs' pay shot up 13% in 2013.
David McCannAugust 7, 2014
Pay Surges for Bank CFOs

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%.

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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.

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