Bank of America story updated with additional information in final paragraph.



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Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

employees are massively overpaid, according to at least one measure used in a research report published Thursday by Rochdale Securities analyst Dick Bove.

Bove took a look at total compensation versus pretax earnings at the 23 companies he covers, and while most of the companies paid their employees more than the companies themselves earned before taxes in 2011, Bank of America employees stood out, earning a whopping 38 times what company itself brought in during that time period (see chart below).

Capital One Financial

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came out best in this analysis among the companies Bove covers, with total compensation adding up to less than 60% of pre-tax earnings.

Bank of America's numbers are so far out of whack because the bank's earnings have been weighed down by billions in legal costs related to bad mortgages underwritten by Countrywide Financial, which Bank of America acquired in 2008.An email to Bank of America spokesmen was not returned.

Beyond Bank of America, however, the fact that so many companies, including


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JPMorgan Chase

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Wells Fargo

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paid out more in compensation than they made before taxes demonstrates, according to Bove, that "the industry has ample opportunity to cut expenses."


Written by Dan Freed in New York


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