The SEC is still working on rules for compensation clawbacks, but some banks have adopted stricter policies in response to pressure from activist shareholders like the New York City comptroller's office.
Two executives of the former Southern Community in North Carolina claim in a lawsuit that they were "unceremoniously fired" because they refused to surrender their severance deals before Capital Bank bought their company.
CEO pay rose a median 11% in 2012 among a group of 149 banks. Here are some of the most highly paid bank bosses of the year. Ratings of pay practices, on a scale from A to F, are provided by GMI Ratings.