Until very recently, a director of Signature Bank, which the New York State Department of Financial Services closed today, was Barney Frank, the former congressman from Massachusetts who is the "Frank" of the Dodd-Frank banking reform law. Frank, who is 82 years old, earned $303,267 in compensation in 2022 from the bank for his work as a director, according to the 2023 proxy statement. He earned $398,940 in 2021, and $158,020 in 2020, and $365,850 in 2019, and $413,750 in 2018, and $409,200 in 2017, and $393,750 in 2016, and $26,000 in 2015. For some of the time, he was on the risk committee. That is a total of $2,468,777. Perhaps he had some of it in Signature Bank stock that is now worth much less than it was before. Or perhaps he got out just in time. Either way, it is something for the former chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and the sponsor of the Dodd-Frank Act to have been paid nearly two and a half million dollars to serve as an "independent" director of a bank that has now been closed by the government.
It will be interesting to see what Barney Frank has to say for himself about this. In a February 2023 press release from Signature Bank, Frank was quoted as saying this:
Former U.S. Congressman Barney Frank, a Signature Bank board member since 2015, added: "Serving on the Board of Signature Bank during Joe DePaolo's tenure as CEO has been a very positive experience. Joe combined financial expertise with excellent management skills and an unshakable commitment to fairness in the Bank's dealings with its clients, colleagues and the broader community with whom I directly and regularly engage to advance my work in Congress. Having myself decided years ago to reduce my level of professional activity after decades of all-consuming work, I fully understand Joe's decision to take on a less intense role in the Bank's affairs. I am assured Signature Bank will continue to thrive, both by Joe's welcome agreement to maintain a significant role in the Board's work, and also based on my high regard for his designated successor, Eric Howell."