MNC Financial Inc., the region's largest bank company, said yesterday that former chairman Allen P. Hoblitzell Jr. will receive $1.5 million in cash plus an annual pension of $465,000 and other benefits as a result of his resignation from the financially troubled company last week.
The terms of Hoblitzell's severance package were disclosed by the bank company following a report in The Washington Post yesterday that Hoblitzell would receive $4.2 million in cash plus and an annual pension of more than $280,000 and other benefits.
"In light of the current controversy, we will break our policy of not discussing severance payments by disclosing the terms of the agreement and put to rest all unauthorized information that is emanating from the company," said MNC spokesman Daniel J. Finney.
On Tuesday, Finney confirmed that MNC -- the parent firm of American Security Bank, Maryland National Bank and Equitable Bank -- had approved a severance package for Hoblitzell but he would not disclose the terms of the package. Finney declined to challenge the accuracy of The Post story when it was described to him in detail prior to publication.
MNC employees have expressed outrage at Hoblitzell's award, saying the recent performance of the bank company does not justify it. Employees of the bank company's subsidiaries are facing layoffs as a result of the company's poor financial results tied to the slowdown in the region's real estate market.
Finney said yesterday that Hoblitzell, who had an annual salary of $557,400, would not receive the full $4.2 million severance package that was mandated by his employment contract in the event of a corporate takeover. Instead, the MNC board of directors approved the smaller $1.5 million package of benefits upon Hoblitzell's decision to retire early, Finney said.
While MNC has not been the target of a formal corporate takeover, Cleveland insurance and real estate mogul Alfred Lerner has taken over as chairman and has taken steps to increase his stake in the company.
"We would like to set the record straight," Finney said. He added that given the financial problems of the bank company, federal regulators would not have approved the full severance package in Hoblitzell's contract. He said the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is aware of the $1.5 million severance package.