Demonstrators, inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement, have made this year’s corporate annual meetings a big target, and Bank of America’s (NYSE:BAC) Wednesday meeting is expected to see the same.
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The meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, will have investors voting on the bank’s executive pay plan, elect directors to the board, and express their concerns about the bank’s functioning. However, the city of Charlotte is expecting a deluge of people outside the company headquarters, with an advocacy group called 99% Power mobilizing protestors. The group had even sent a letter to chief executive Brian Moynihan asking the bank to let all shareholders enter the meeting.
Wells Fargo’s (NYSE:WFC) annual meeting in Delaware last month turned complicated, with 500 protestors landing up and the bank stopping some people from entering the meeting. It led to 24 arrests, and protestor groups later said they planned to file a complaint with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission against the bank. Charlotte city officials are taking measures to avoid a similar situation, and have declared the Bank of America meeting an “extraordinary event” to help handle protests.
Bank of America has largely been blamed for foreclosures troubles and the resulting financial crisis, and often criticized for taking government bailouts. Its investors are unhappy, too, as shares have tumbled to under $10 and the bank cut its quarterly dividend to a penny per share since the financial crisis.
While Citigroup (NYSE:C) shareholders rejected their company’s pay plan earlier this year, Bank of America is at least not expected to see something like that, with majority advisory groups recommending shareholders to approve the plan. Moynihan received total compensation of $8.1 million last year, got no cash bonus and only received performance-dependent stock.
The chief executive, who tried to boost capital last year through cost-cutting measures, among other measures, is expected to be questioned about his plan for increasing the lender’s future earnings.
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