Banks have begun publishing their 2018 proxy statements, and all eyes have been on executive salaries and bonus pay.
Lurking in the annual statements, though, are details of the perks that banks offer their CEOs each year, from the personal use of corporate aircraft to the installation of home security systems. American Banker
combed through the proxy statements for U.S. banks with roughly $50 billion or more in assets. Some big names — such as JPMorgan Chase and Capital One — have not yet reported.
What’s striking about the disclosures isn’t just the special benefits banks offer, but how widely they vary.
Consider the personal use of company aircraft — a business perk that, justifiably or not, is often associated in the public mind with corporate excess.
Several midsize banks, a group that has been vocal in recent years about being squeezed by low margins and rising compliance costs,
allow it free of charge, though in some cases up to a certain limit.
At Citigroup, however, CEO Michael Corbat is required to reimburse the bank for his personal use of its company’s plane. He paid $239,978 in 2017 for the privilege.
Another benefit that pops up in several proxies: the “executive physical,” a type of medical exam designed to accommodate the busy schedules of high-powered businesspeople. The physicals from several major hospitals range
in cost and the type of services offered, according to their websites. The exams typically feature minimal wait times and standard preventative screenings, though add-ons such as genomic testing to Botox injections are also sometimes available.
Once you go far enough down the asset spectrum, however, CEOs tend to enjoy fewer special benefits. In fact, it’s a point of pride for some companies to disavow perquisites. The $71 billion-asset Comerica, for instance, said in its proxy that it has never allowed the personal use of its corporate jet. What restraint, eh?