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Are American Banks Ready for Pay Transparency?

Are American Banks Ready for Pay Transparency?

by Frank Roche on March 12, 2009

in Pay Transparency

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating bonuses given to Merrill Lynch employees just prior to the Bank of America takeover. This public pay transparency issue is playing out in national news, and details are showing that Bank of America isn’t ready to be internally transparent.

Among the reasons Bank of America claims that it should not be compelled to divulge the details of the bonuses is, “Disclosure of the information would also cause ‘internal dissension and consternation,’ pose security risks for the exposed bankers and their families, and cause employees to leave.”

Why would Bank of America feel pay transparency would cause “internal dissension and consternation”? Here are my guesses:

  1. They play favorites.
  2. They don’t actually pay people what they think they are worth, so this would cause employees to leave.
  3. They can’t trust their employees to understand and believe in the compensation process.

None of these are terribly flattering. If the state of New York gets its way, pay transparency will be forced upon many Merrill Lynch employees, and not just internally. Watch this space as the drama unfolds.


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