Bank of the Ozarks unveils bonus plan in wake of GOP tax bill

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,501 views 

Publicly-held banking organization Bank of the Ozarks has announced an annual cash-based incentive bonus plan for hourly employees and certain other employees.

Under the terms of the plan, employees of the Little Rock-based bank will be eligible to receive a cash award of up to $1,200 annually based on company and individual employee performance. Approximately 2,300 of the company’s current employees will be eligible to receive awards under the plan.

The first payments under the plan will be made in early 2019 based on 2018 company and individual employee performance.  Current estimates indicate the annual pre-tax cost of the plan for 2018, including payroll taxes and other benefits, will be between $2.4 and $2.7 million.

Going forward, annual bonus payments under this plan will be determined and paid in the first quarter of each year.

“Our people are our company,” chairman and CEO George Gleason said in a statement. “We are pleased to recognize our employees who perform with excellence every day making Bank of the Ozarks an industry leader.”

Executive officers and other members of senior management are excluded from the new bonus plan. Gleason acknowledged the new bonus plan was spurred by the Tax Cut And Jobs Act, signed into law Dec. 22 by President Donald Trump. The tax bill is expected to give a big boost to bank profits.

“Recently signed U. S. corporate tax legislation has given us the opportunity to enhance current compensation programs for our employees,” Gleason said. “This bonus plan rewards hard work and performance while promoting our longstanding commitment to excellence which has driven our company’s success for decades.”

Other financial organizations have also reacted to the GOP tax bill with wage increases and bonuses. Several regional banks including Bank of America, Wells Fargo and PNC Financial have raised their employees’ minimum wage to $15.