suspended bonus payments to five top executives, including CEO John Stumpf, because performance goals were not met in 2008.
The San Francisco-based bank's board suspended performance bonuses for CFO Howard Atkins, Chairman Richard Kovacevich and two executive vice presidents, David Hoyt and Mark Oman. It also lifted the base salaries of Atkins and Hoyt to $700,000 from $600,000, starting Sunday.
Atkins, Hoyt and Oman also received restricted stock options at one-third of their entire 2008 compensation. Under terms of the recently passed economic stabilization act, those options cannot be vested until Wells repays the entire $25 billion loan it received from the government.
Terms of an aid package to stabilize the financial system, known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, initially capped non-performance-based pay for senior executives at $1 million per year. But the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 outlined more stringent standards, slashing that amount in half to $500,000 and eliminating the exception for performance-based compensation.
Strumpf testified before Congress earlier this month that Wells did not require or seek government aid to keep it afloat, but accepted the cash at the request of the Treasury Department to remove any stigma that less healthy firms would endure by soliciting TARP funds.
The firm lost $2.55 billion, or 79 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, but earned $2.84 billion, or 75 cents per share, for the full year. Its performance was better than money-losing competitors, though Wells still faced writedowns and losses as business deteriorated along with the economy and financial markets.
Wells Fargo shares recently were losing 6.3% to $13.49.