American bankers saw wages rise during the pandemic

Banqueiros americanos viram salários crescer durante a pandemia

Bank CEO salaries saw their pay rise on average during the pandemic. The salary of the CEO of Capital One Financial Corp. alone soared 161%.

The CEOs of most large U.S. banks have seen their salaries increase during the pandemic. Among banks with more than $1 billion in assets, two-thirds of CEOs were given salary increases this year, according to a study by analysts at brokerage Janney Montgomery Scott. The average increase was 26%, according to the data.

The CEOs of the largest US banks - those with more than $50 billion in assets - had the smallest increase in compensation, equivalent to 5.8%. The CEOs of Bank of America, Brian Moynihan; Wells Fargo, Charlie Scharf and US Bancorp, Andy Cecere, on the other hand, saw their compensation decrease this year.

Banks built up reserves of billions during the covid-19 pandemic as unemployment soared, for fear that customers would default on loan payments. But the several waves of economic stimulus paid by the U.S. government prevented widespread losses, allowing banks to begin releasing reserves in the last quarters of 2020.

Capital One Financial Corp. CEO Richard Fairbank's salary skyrocketed 161% to $20.1 million, the biggest jump among the largest U.S. banks, according to Janney, which based its study on compensation tables included in regulatory documents. A portion of Fairbank's 2019 salary was not paid until 2020, which adds to the income declared in the records. 

JPMorgan Chase's Jamie Dim's compensation increased by only 0.2%, but he remains the highest paid CEO in banking, and expects to earn almost $32 million this year.

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