America’s Banks Should Help the Little Guy

By ColumnsFOXBusiness

The pay for executives on Wall Street is a source of outrage for many Americans. We spent billions to save these companies from financial disaster and three years later, executives are reaping big rewards.

I n fact, 2010 was a banner year for compensation at financial firms .According to the Wall Street Journal, last year bankers took home $135 billion in total compensation and benefits. That's up nearly 6% from 2009.

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Broken down - that comes out to an average of a 3% increase in compensation per employee. At the Bank of America, the nation's largest bank, compensation jumped 11% to more than $35 billion.

That’s nothing compared to the bump CEO Brian Moynihan got—67%.

The good news is their bottom line is recovered. At the 25 large firms surveyed by the paper revenue hit an all time high of $417 billion.

Those companies have a combined stock value now of more than $750 billion.

Listen, I’m all for people making money. Most banks have paid taxpayers back for the 2008 bailout, so bravo to them for reaching new profit levels. But here's my gripe – we helped you, so why aren't you helping us?

A survey by the Federal Reserve shows more than 12 % of banks eased lending standards for businesses with annual sales of at least $50 million dollars, making more loans to mid-sized businesses.

But for small businesses - you know the bread and butter of our economy - less than 4% of banks are lending more. For consumers - only a fifth say they're willing, and they used the word "slightly" - to issue more consumer installment loans.

This is ridiculous. I’m not advising banks give loans to every Tom, Dick, and Harry that asks for it, but if people and businesses qualify - it's time the banks give back to those who gave to them.

Be sure to catch the Willis Report on the FOX Business Network every weekday from 5-6pm ET.

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