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Robert Kelly, CEO Bank of New York Mellon - Corporate Tax Dodger

September 20, 2011 ·

Bailout baron accused of bilking public pension funds.

Bank of New York Mellon CEO Robert Kelly CEO pay: $19.4 million
U.S. federal income taxes: $670 million refund

Bank of New York Mellon CEO Robert Kelly took home $19.4 million in 2010. The bank, the same year, also claimed a $670 million federal tax refund.

Kelly’s compensation has skated above $10 million during each of the past three years of financial crisis. The CEO artfully managed to avoid the salary limits President Obama’s “pay czar” imposed on bailed-out banks by making sure Bank of New York Mellon repaid the taxpayer funds before those restrictions went into effect. The bank raised the money to pay back its $3 billion in TARP assistance by taking on uninsured debt, slashing dividends, and issuing new stock.

The Bank of New York Mellon may not have paid a dime in federal taxes in 2010, but the banking giant did devote $1.4 million to lobbying over the year. The bank’s lobbyists worked diligently to exempt currency trading from new transparency and oversight rules. In related news, officials from eight U.S. states are conducting inquiries or pursuing litigation against Bank of New York Mellon for ripping off state pension funds by overcharging for currency trades. The Securities and Exchange Commission and Justice Department are also investigating the allegations, which were first raised by whistleblowers.


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Scott Klinger
Associate Fellow
Global Economy