The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of the Inspector General released an audit report Dec. 10 critical of executive compensation at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Bloomberg reported.
“The agency’s lack of independent assessment limits its capacity to ensure that the costs associated with senior professional compensation are warranted,” the OIG report stated, Bloomberg reported.
Fannie and Freddie paid 90 executives $92 million in 2011, while paying 2,000 senior professionals a total of $455 million. The auditor’s report indicated median compensation to vice presidents was $388,000, and median salaries for directors was $205,300.
This is not the first time executive compensation at the government-sponsored enterprises has been criticized, and much of the concern has focused on the nearly $190 billion in taxpayer aid paid to the GSEs since 2008. The GSEs have paid back $50 billion in dividends to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Fannie Mae Spokeswoman Kelli Parsons said that it’s important for the GSEs to pay competitive salaries. “Our people are the reason for Fannie Mae’s significant progress, which is benefiting taxpayers,” she told Bloomberg. “A change in our ability to pay competitive salaries could stall or reverse this progress.”
The FHFA already has frozen pay at the GSEs and also cut the annual salaries of their CEOs by nearly 90 percent, from $5 million to $600,000.