PNC pays bonuses to execs after getting TARP money

NEW YORK (Reuters) - PNC Financial Services Group Inc PNC.N said on Friday it has awarded bonuses for 2008 to its chief executive and other top officers, becoming the largest recipient of taxpayer money under the government's $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program to do so.

Chief Executive James Rohr was awarded a $3 million bonus, down from $3.5 million a year earlier. PNC also awarded bonuses of $1.3 million to President Joseph Guyaux, $1.24 million to Senior Vice Chairman William Demchack, $785,400 to Vice Chairman Timothy Shack and $710,000 to Chief Financial Officer Richard Johnson.

The Pittsburgh-based bank disclosed the awards in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

PNC received $7.6 billion of TARP money and used some of it to buy the troubled Cleveland lender National City Corp, creating the nation’s seventh-largest bank.

None of the banks that received more TARP money, including Bank of America Corp BAC.N and Citigroup Inc C.N, are awarding bonuses to their chief executives for 2008.

“The board’s decision takes into account PNC’s strong relative performance, as well as the challenging circumstances facing our industry and the economy,” PNC spokesman Brian Goerke said.

He also said no TARP money is going toward the bonuses, saying: “This is coming from our business revenue.”

Investors, politicians and regulators have faulted banks for doling out big bonuses as the industry hemorrhages losses from soured loans and tightens the availability of credit generally.

In Friday’s filing, PNC said it reduced the maximum annual perks it awards any top executive to $10,000 from $50,000. It also said Rohr, Guyaux and Demchak will retain access to the bank’s aircraft, but will pay for personal flights themselves.

PNC shares closed Friday down $3.00, or 9.7 percent, at $28.07. They have fallen 67.5 percent from their 52-week high set last September 19.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Andre Grenon