Citi founder Reed slams Wall St. bonuses: report

Interim Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange John S. Reed reacts to a question during a press conference in New York, in this September 29, 2003 file photo. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

NEW YORK (Reuters) - As Wall Street gears up for its much-anticipated bonus season, John S. Reed, a founder and former chairman and chief executive of Citigroup Inc, offered stern words in the New York Times about the expected large payouts.

Reed, who retired from Citigroup in 2000, told the paper that Wall Street would not fully regain the public’s trust until banks scaled back bonuses for good.

“There is nothing I’ve seen that gives me the slightest feeling that these people have learned anything from the crisis,” Reed told the paper. “They just don’t get it. They are off in a different world.”

Compensation at U.S. banks has been a hot-button issue since the government handed out billions of dollars in bailout money to shore up banks during the financial crisis. Several firms, including the nation’s largest bank, Bank of America Corp, have repaid those funds, ending restrictions on top executives pay.

A Bank of America Corp spokesman said on Friday that it will likely pay some employees at its investment bank at levels significantly above last year, although there will be no record payouts.

Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Diane Craft