Bank of America Corp. plans to increase some investment bankers' salaries by as much as 70% as a result of the takeover of Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., people familiar with the proposal said.
B of A, which has received $45 billion of bailout money, may raise the annual base pay for some managing directors to about $300,000, according to the people, who asked not to be identified.
Salaries for less-senior directors would climb to about $250,000, and vice presidents would get $200,000, the people said.
The Charlotte company said: "We regularly review our compensation programs. Such a review is particularly appropriate during such challenging times. While various alternatives are being considered, no decisions have been reached."
One person familiar with the plans said the increases, which may be rolled out as soon as next month, are designed in part to align the salaries of employees at B of A and workers at the new Merrill. Salaries for traders and other employees outside the investment bank may also be adjusted, the person said.
The House passed a bill this month that would impose a 90% tax rate on bonuses paid by firms that received over $5 billion from the government. The bill is pending in the Senate.