In 2013, it paid to be the boss of a bank.
The CEO of Wells Fargo, John Stumpf, received $19.3 million last year. That includes base pay, bonus, stock options and long-term incentive awards if Stumpf hits his targets.
Stumpf won the highest paid bank CEO prize, according to a study of regulatory filings by SNL Financial, but you don't have to be the head of a mega-size financial group to rake it in.
The men who run regional banks, including some you may not recognize, are compensated handsomely.
The head of a bank based in Akron, Ohio paid its CEO $16.4 million last year.
That was enough to make FirstMerit Corp. (FMER) CEO Pat Greig the fourth highest paid bank chief in America. FirstMerit is only the nation's 29th largest bank.
PacWest Bancorp's (PACW) Matthew Wagner received a windfall of $11.9 million, making him the eight highest paid bank CEO overall. However, much of Wagner's compensation was tied to stock awards that vested when PacWest acquired CapitalSource.
Overall, pay continues to rise for bank CEOs, according to SNL. The median CEO pay among the 617 bank in the study was $565,169. That's up 48% from 2012, when the median compensation was $381,322.
The pay cut came after JPMorgan reported a $6.2 billion loss from the so-called London Whale trade -- the massive bet on credit derivatives made by one of the bank's London units that went terribly wrong.
Highest paid bank CEOs 2013
It's hard not to feel a little jealous -- even outraged -- looking at the latest list of the highest paid CEOs in America. The top 12 all made over $20 million last year.
But there's another reason to get upset when CEOs make millions: Taxpayers are subsidizing some of this wealth.
Stock options are one of the biggest drivers of high CEO pay these days.
The idea is to give executives stock MOREHeather Long - Apr 24, 2014 12:05 PM ET
|Saving Obamacare is now up to Trump|
|Some Trump-friendly media striking out at him after health care failure|
|The 20-year-old leading the March Against Revenge Porn|
|U.S. workers face higher risk of being replaced by robots. Here's why|
|What the failed Obamacare repeal means for tax reform|