NY Attorney General Cuomo Seeks Bonus Info From Bank Of America (NYSE: BAC), Citigroup (NYSE: C), JP Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), And Others

Amidst public displeasure and regulatory scrutiny over bonus payments, several large U.S. banks received a letter from New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo requesting information on bonus allocations.  The letter went to eight of the nation’s largest banks that received taxpayer money.

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Bank of New York Mellon (NSYE: ), Citigroup (NYSE: C), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), JP Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), State Street (NYSE: STT) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) all received the letter from Cuomo’s office.

Looking at the letter sent to Bank of America, details for specific financial information are requested, such as descriptions of all bonus pools for 2009, and details of the process used to establish the pools.  A breakdown of vesting periods, clawback provisions and other provisions tying compensation to performance within those pools is being sought as well.

Likely the most noteworthy request within the letter is for a description of how bonus pools would have been impacted had the bank not received TARP funding.  Also, a description of how the calculations of bonus pools and allocations have changed as a result of receiving TARP and also after paying the funds back.

Interestingly, Cuomo also asks for information that leans toward analysis of the banks’ lending practices over the past three years.  The request states that the rate and magnitude of lending over 2007, 2008 and 2009 should be described and put into a chart along with the sizes of businesses that received the financing.

That information lends toward the concerns that banks were not using government aid to increase liquidity in the credit market, instead just hoarding the funds and earning money off of the funds through interest.

There are 11 requests for specific items in total and the letter was pretty standard for all eight banks that received it.  At the end of the letter Cuomo asks the banks to provide the information requested by February 8, 2010