Wachovia execs make out like bandits

Don’t worry about the bankers. They’ll be alright.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wachovia Corp (NYSE:WB – News), which lost $33 billion in the last two quarters, said 10 top executives may be entitled to $98.1 million in severance pay after the bank is acquired by Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC – News).

In a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Wachovia said the executives would receive severance under their employment agreements if the merger closes by December 31, as expected. Wachovia said shareholders will vote on the merger on Dec 23.

The 10 executives do not include Robert Steel, who in July replaced the ousted Ken Thompson as Wachovia’s chief executive, and does not have an employment agreement.

Wachovia also said a closing would entitle its 11 executive officers, who include Steel, as well as Chairman Lanty Smith to $2.5 million in equity-based awards under existing stock incentive plans. But the executives’ stock options are worthless, the bank said.

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