Frank adds pressure to bonus investigation

March 10, 2009 at 1:08 PM

WASHINGTON, March 10 (UPI) -- House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank has joined with New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to seek answers on bank bonus pay.

New York State has subpoenaed former Merrill Lynch executives and Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Lewis concerning bonus checks handed out to employees after the banks received billions of dollars in federal bailout funds.

More recently, Frank, D-Mass., and Cuomo sent Lewis a letter demanding the bank "immediately disclose" information about employees who received bonuses of more than $1 million, The Hill newspaper reported Tuesday.

The banks received a combined $45 billion from the government, the newspaper said.

"We believe that as a matter of transparency and disclosure, taxpayers have a right to know where their tax dollars go once received by TARP recipients," the letter said. "Accordingly, all TARP recipient institutions should disclose individualized executive bonus information to taxpayers."

The bonus checks allegedly were rushed through the approval process before Bank of America acquired Merrill Lynch in January.

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