BofA to pay special bonuses for third year after strong earnings

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Bank of America plans to pay its employees special bonuses for a third straight year after reporting record earnings in four of the past five quarters.

The lender will give $1,000 in December to eligible employees who earn $100,000 or less annually, while higher-paid staff will receive a stock award next year, Chief Executive Brian Moynihan said Tuesday in an internal memo. As they did last year, the payouts will apply to about 95% of the company's workforce.

"While our initial special compensation award originated from the benefits our company experienced from U.S. tax reform, our continued strong performance has allowed us to once again share the company's success," Moynihan wrote in the memo.

Bank of America posted four quarters of record net income starting in mid-2018 before snapping that streak in the third quarter with an impairment charge linked to its exit from a payments joint venture. The three years of bonuses total about $1.6 billion, according to the memo.

"You have to be able to drive profits, growth and success as a company, and you have to address the broader aims of society," Moynihan said in an interview in New York this month.

Under the latest plan, employees who earn $100,000 to $350,000 will be granted 200 to 500 restricted stock units in the first quarter.

The lender will run print ads in more than 90 local markets touting the program, alongside photos and email addresses for its market presidents in those areas.

Bloomberg News