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In a Nov 13, a piece on CUJournal.com, entitled "Credit Unions Beat Banks In Loan Growth, Exec Pay And More," cited a study from Enetrix that claims that the median base salary of credit union CEOs is higher than the salary of bank CEOs of comparable size - this is very misleading.

The study only includes base salary and does not include long-term incentives provided to bank CEOs, such as yearly bonuses, stock grants and stock options. In terms of compensation, payout from bonuses and stock options are often far more valuable than the base salary.

These incentives are not available to credit union CEOs, since credit unions are member-owned financial cooperatives - as this study notes in the fine print on page 14: "It is important to note the comparisons made within this section consider only cash compensation (i.e., base salaries and total compensation). Benefits, long-term incentives (i.e., phantom stock and other compensation vehicles) and perquisites are not included in the analysis which will tend to drive the total compensation picture higher for banking executives."

Factoring in these extra incentives bank executive of institutions greater than $100 million is about 42% higher than credit unions of comparable size.

Paul Gentile, EVP Strategic Communications & Engagement, CUNA

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