USA

No bonuses for Bank of America's top executives

Bank of America's chief executive Ken Lewis has ruled out bonuses for all top executives at the company for 2008, after reporting low performance levels. Like others, the bank will receive government aid in exchange for limiting compensations.

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AFP -  Bank of America's top executive said Tuesday he was recommending no bonuses for himself or other top executives for 2008 in view of the woes hitting the sector and the company.

"This was a difficult decision because we have worked hard and made progress on many projects that will create value for our company in future years," chief executive Ken Lewis said in an e-mail to employees, the contents of which were confirmed by AFP.

"Nonetheless, we are a pay for performance company."

Lewis made the recommendation to the company's board of directors ahead of the publication of the earnings of one of the largest US banking groups.

In the email, initially reported in the Charlotte Observer newspaper, Lewis said final numbers are not in yet, but the 2008 performance was expected to be below expectations.

He noted the bank's stock has slid 66 percent and it has cut its dividend by 50 percent.

Bank of America joins Citigroup and others skipping bonuses for 2008. Nearly all of the large banks have received capital injections from the US government, in exchange for limits on executive compensation.

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