Banks and Backdating Stock Options: Is There A Problem?

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The Corporate Library Takes a Close Look at Big U.S. Banks to Gauge Susceptibility to Backdating Stock Options Concern.

The latest analysis from The Corporate Library (TCL) – entitled ‘Banks & Backdating Options: Is There A Problem?’ – zeroes in on the banking industry with an in-depth look at the options granting practices of twelve major U.S. banking institutions.

TCL, at the request of 'American Banker' newspaper, examined a sample group of the nation’s top banks to see if it was likely that any of them might become implicated in the backdating stock options scandal. The companies investigated in the study are:

  •     Bank of America Corporation
  •     Bank of New York Company, Inc. (The)
  •     Capital One Financial Corporation
  •     Citigroup, Inc.
  •     Commerce Bancorp, Inc.
  •     Countrywide Financial Corporation
  •     JPMorgan Chase & Co
  •     Northern Trust Corporation
  •     State Street Corporation
  •     SVB Financial Group
  •     Wachovia Corporation
  •     Wells Fargo & Company

Paul Hodgson, the author of the TCL report, commented: "Initial concerns were raised by irregular stock option grant policies at some of the banks, and the dates and pricing of the options concerned were examined very closely to see if there was any evidence that grants had been backdated.” He continued: “It was thought, at first, that the additional regulation and oversight that is part of the financial services sector would prevent companies in this sector from backdating stock options, and the report was conducted, in part, to test this theory."

The full 27-page report containing in-depth analysis and findings, as well as many other TCL reports on backdating options and other timely subjects, are available from The Corporate Library’s online store at

About The Corporate Library

The Corporate Library, headquartered in Portland, Maine, is the leading resource for independent corporate governance and compensation information and analysis of public U.S. corporations. Founded in 1999, it continues to be the authority on corporate governance matters, as evidenced by the frequency with which key media, business and government leaders seek its unique insight and objective perspectives. Additional information on The Corporate Library and its suite of online corporate governance data and analysis products can be found on its website at


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Melanie Whittier
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