Report critical of pay practices at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Fri Apr 1, 2011 1:21am EDT

(Reuters) - The heads of bailed-out mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB) and Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB) were paid fat salaries without proper written procedures or analysis, according to a report published by the Inspector General of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA-OIG).

Also, the housing regulator Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has not considered the factors that might have possibly resulted in reduced executive compensation costs, the review report said.

The heads of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were paid a total of $17.1 million in 2009 and 2010 -- the two full years of government ownership.

The top six executives at the housing giants were paid $35.4 million over the two years, according to the report that was posted on the agency's website.

The Inspector General said FHFA has not developed written procedures to evaluate the recommended executive compensation levels each year.

"FHFA also does not provide sufficient transparency to the public of the Enterprises' executive compensation program," the Office of Inspector General said in the evaluation report.

The report recommended that FHFA should establish ongoing review and analysis process to determine the compensation levels for the top executives of mortgage finance giants.

The mortgage firms have taken more than $130 billion in direct taxpayer aid since 2008

and the U.S. government indicated in February that total cost could peak at $169 billion by late next year before beginning to shrink as they slowly repay taxpayers.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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