New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank are demanding Bank of America Corp. disclose bonuses of $1 million or more paid last year to employees at the Charlotte company or recently acquired Merrill Lynch & Co.
Frank and Cuomo requested bonus details in a letter to B of A chief executive Ken Lewis dated Monday. The two objected because while the companies have received $45 billion in direct assistance through the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and another $188 billion in insurance guarantees, Merrill spent $3.6 billion on bonuses, and B of A paid roughly $3.3 billion.
Frank and Cuomo questioned Merrill's decision to move up its planned date to allocate bonuses while "knowing full well that they were going to suffer huge losses for the fourth quarter and the year."
"Taxpayers who are footing the bill obviously demand accountability and want to know who received these funds and why," wrote Frank and Cuomo in the letter. "Your refusal to reveal compensation information fuels distrust and cynicism at a most sensitive time."
A representative for B of A did not return calls seeking comment.