Here's an advantage to working for a regional bank instead of a bulge-bracket: When it comes to executives' pay packages, optics is less of an obstacle.
That's true even for bailed-out institutions that didn't repay all their TARP funds, and in some cases continue to report net losses, Reuters reports.
Regional institutions including Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bancorp, Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services, Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions Financial and Cleveland-based KeyCorp hiked their respective chief executives' compensation between 21 and 56 percent last year compared with 2008. But another large bailed-out regional bank, Atlanta-based SunTrust, did not raise its CEO's pay in 2009.
Although the regionals fell outside the authority of Treasury Department overseer Kenneth Feinberg, they were still subject to TARP's prohibition on paying cash bonuses to CEOs.
Each of the executives' compensation had fallen in 2008 from the preceding year. Kenneth Raskin, who heads the compensation practice at law firm White & Case, says the rebound in 2009 "is a result of the company doing better."