Our people

Recognizing & rewarding performance

Every day we work together to help our customers, clients, colleagues and communities succeed by delivering the power of our company. Recognizing the efforts and rewarding the results of these interactions is a significant part of our culture at Bank of America – from the way we support our employees’ development and career goals through meaningful performance discussions, to how we compensate our teammates, to the culture and conduct practices we’ve established across the company.

Performance management

Through our performance management process, employees understand expectations for their role through ongoing dialogue with their manager. Employees have a performance plan that helps them focus on specific goals in their role with the company, including goals focused on supporting our culture.


Bank of America has a strong pay-for-performance governance framework that rewards long-term, sustainable results that are aligned with stockholder interests. We’re committed to paying our employees competitively based on what the role requires and how the individual performs. We also regularly benchmark our pay against other companies to promote competitiveness with comparable roles in our industry and markets.

There are a range of factors we consider in determining compensation, including job and skillset requirements and the available talent pool. Our pay for performance philosophy means our compensation is driven by a combination of company, line of business and individual performance. We encourage and reward long-term, sustainable performance.

Compensation plan review
We also have robust review processes as part of our governance framework to support the consistent application of our pay practices, including independent analysis by external firms. We’ve received feedback that the depth and rigor of our pay analysis are far ahead of other companies.

Minimum Wage Strategy
We’re committed to paying all of our employees competitive wages, and we invest considerable time in educating and supporting our managers to make sound pay decisions. In particular, we monitor the compensation of employees who are paid hourly to help align their wages with industry trends. We are an industry leader in establishing an internal minimum rate of pay for our U.S. hourly employees and have made regular increases over the past several years. Most recently on May 1, 2019, we announced that our minimum hourly wage for U.S. employees has increased to $17 and will continue to rise until it reaches $20 in 2021.

Sharing our success with our employees
In 2017 and 2018, 90% and 95% of our employees, respectively, shared in the success of our strong performance by receiving special compensation awards. We’re a leader in providing this type of award for two consecutive years.

Compensation at Senior Levels
As part of our robust governance routines, heads of independent control functions and business lines meet with the Board of Directors’ Compensation and Benefits Committee individually to discuss their feedback on the pay-for-performance process, including how risk management and conduct matters were factored into compensation decisions. The company’s CEO and the CEO’s direct reports receive a portion of their total compensation as base salary and the remainder as variable, pay—a majority of which is delivered as deferred equity-based awards. This pay-for-performance structure, which emphasizes variable equity-based pay, helps motivate our executives to deliver sustained stockholder value and responsible growth. In addition, all of our variable pay awards are subject to claw-back policies.

Learn more about executive compensation in the 2021 Proxy Statement.


In addition to a core focus of connecting pay opportunities for employees to the performance of the individual, line of business and company, we promote a culture that appreciates and celebrates achievement year-round at all levels. This includes opportunities for teammate-to-teammate recognition, for managers and senior leaders to call out individuals and teams with point-based rewards and for managers and senior leaders to celebrate milestones for anniversaries and service to our company and legacy.

Culture and conduct

At Bank of America, our culture comes from how we run the company every day. At the heart of our Responsible Growth strategy is our commitment to “act responsibly”, which includes our commitments to ethical behavior, acting with integrity and complying with laws, rules, regulations and policies that reinforce such behavior. We drive our culture and related expectations for conduct throughout the employee lifecycle – from hiring, to onboarding, to training and development, to decisions on compensation and promotions. While there is no single culture metric, we analyze a variety of data sources to ensure we are living our values as a company.

Learn more on Our culture, Governance, and Risk management.

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