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Brokerage Fees Are High Because Country Club Memberships Don't Pay For Themselves

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Well, the crop of proxies coming out from some major financial services companies provides some details on what some of those nuisance fees are paying for: perks for top executives. A quick skim of the footnotes in the proxy for Mellon Financial (MEL), whose brands include mutual fund giant Dreyfus Funds and which is in the process of merging with the Bank of New York (BK), provides a long list of perks heretofore unknown to Mellon’s investors (or customers). Highlights include $194 for Chairman and CEO Robert Kelly’s use of the corporate jet to ferry him between Pittsburgh and North Carolina, $94K on a car and driver, $66K on his country club membership and another $52K spent to provide him with financial planning services (hopefully, he used someone at his own company).

Why are bank/brokerage fees so high? [footnoted .org]


RBS: Those Libor Fines Don't Pay For Themselves!

Like many of its peers in the banking world, RBS used to make a habit of manipulating Libor (among other things). And, as recent reports suggest, the Royalest Bank of Scotland is probably going to be forced to cough up £300m (and fire a couple execs) to convince the government everyone is very sorry and it won't happen again. How does the bank, which has not had a money-making quarter since the financial crisis,* plan to come up with the cash? By 1) taking back bonuses that were already paid out to people who were involved in the scandal and 2) reducing everyone's bonus this year.