Bank of America to give 97% of staff special compensation

Bank of America to give 97% of staff special compensation

REUTERS Carlo Allegri

According to an internal memo seen by the Reuters, Bank of America Corp. BAC.N said on Tuesday it will give 97% of its employees special compensation awards, most of which will be given in restricted stock units.

The total value of the awards is around $1 billion, reflecting the 47% increase in Bank of America's stock price last year, bank chief executive Brian Moynihan wrote in a note to employees.

Moynihan wrote that this year, the estimated value of these awards is several times higher than the previous cash awards. The compensation awards were issued by the bank for the fifth time in a row.

The bank employees with annual total compensation of $500,000 or less are eligible to receive the awards. Employees will get between 65 and 600 restricted units of Bank of America stock, based on compensation, which will begin to vest next year.

Restricted stock units are compensation that are only transferable when certain conditions are met.

Some part-time employees and others who work in certain international locations will receive cash awards of $750 or the local currency equivalent, according to the memo.

This is the first year that the bank gave stock awards to employees with less than $100,000, and it follows the bank's commitment to raise its minimum wage for employees to $25 by the year 2025.

Goldman Sachs increased its annual bonus pool for top-performing investment bankers by 40% to 50%, while JPMorgan Chase increased it by 30% to 40%, according to a report earlier in January.