JPMorgan CEO Dimon's pay jumped to $20.8 million in 2010

Reuters

By Clare Baldwin and Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - After piloting the No. 2 U.S. bank through the financial crisis, JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon is now being rewarded.

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Dimon saw his total compensation jump nearly 1,500 percent to $20.8 million in 2010 from $1.3 million a year earlier, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.

By way of comparison, real median household income in the United States in 2009 was $49,777, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Large pay packages for bankers who oversaw many of the transactions that brought the world economy to the brink of collapse became a flashpoint during the 2008 financial crisis.

Some of that anger has eased, but banker pay remains a sensitive issue, especially at financial institutions that took taxpayer bailout money.

Many analysts view JPMorgan as the healthiest of the largest U.S. commercial banks, having skirted the worst of the credit risks that caused losses or significant writedowns at rivals including Bank of America Corp and Citigroup Inc .

The 55-year-old Dimon, who became JPMorgan's chief executive on December 31, 2005, has won praise for enabling JPMorgan to be among the first big U.S. banks to repay government bailout money, in its case $25 billion.

JPMorgan was also one of the first big banks to increase its dividend, after last month passing a second Federal Reserve "stress" test.

Dimon has also emerged as a strong critic of some of the Obama administration's financial regulatory reforms, which he fears could unnecessarily crimp growth.

In his annual shareholder letter posted on the bank's website, Dimon said JPMorgan could earn $22 billion to $24 billion in a "more normal" business environment, after earning a $17.4 billion in 2010.

But he said the United States has many issues to still address, including rebuilding infrastructure, reducing trade deficits and improving capital flows. "I remain, perhaps naively, optimistic," he said.

Dimon's 2010 salary remained at $1 million. He was also awarded a $5 million bonus, nearly $8 million in stock awards and $6.2 million in option awards.

Total compensation for Dimon nonetheless fell short of the $35.8 million awarded in 2008, the SEC filing shows.

JPMorgan shares closed down 0.5 percent at $47.40 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

(Reporting by Clare Baldwin and Jonathan Stempel; editing by Andre Grenon and Tim Dobbyn)