fb tracking

Banking CEO Pay Still Out of Control

Report Finds Excessive CEO Pay, Underpaid Workers at National, Regional Banks

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Pay disparities between CEOs and workers still are out of control at many of America’s national and regional banks, according to an Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and Public Citizen report (PDF) released today using the first-ever pay ratio disclosures to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The report makes the following key findings:

  • Among the largest four megabanks – JP Morgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup – the average ratio in 2017 was 319-to-1.
  • At both JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, a typical employee would have to work a full year before earning as much as the chief executive pockets in a day.
  • Among the 19 banks slated for deregulation in a U.S. Senate-passed bill, the average compensation ratio is 154-to-1.

“This adds to the evidence that the reckless bonus culture still is pervasive on Wall Street. Now we need to build on disclosure and put real teeth in banker pay reform,” said Sarah Anderson, co-author of the report and a co-editor of IPS’ Inequality.org.

“For Congress to remove risk controls from banks that award unbelievable executive pay packages shows just how much they have ignored the lessons of the 2008 crisis,” said Bartlett Naylor, co-author of the report and financial policy advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division.

Pay ratio disclosure was one of several executive compensation provisions in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Instead of pushing for full implementation of Dodd-Frank’s pay provisions, the Senate recently passed a financial deregulation bill (S. 2155), and the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to take it up soon.


The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS-dc.org) is a 54-year-old multi-issue research center that has conducted path breaking research on executive compensation for more than 20 years. The IPS website Inequality.org is a portal into all things related to the income and wealth gaps that so divide us. Follow us @inequalityorg.

Public Citizen is a national nonprofit advocacy organization that champions the public interest – your interests – in the halls of power. Since our founding in 1971, we have defended democracy, resisted corporate power and worked to ensure that government works for the people – not for big corporations. We have 400,000 members and supporters throughout the country. We take no government or corporate money. Follow us @Public_Citizen.