04/19/2012 03:32 pm ET Updated Apr 19, 2012

Barney Frank Praises Citigroup Shareholders' Vote To Reject Executive Pay Proposal

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) praised on Thursday the decision by Citigroup shareholders to reject proposals for executive pay packages that would have included a $40 million bonus for CEO Vikram Pandit.

Such "say-on-pay" votes were a part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, although the voting results are not binding.

The provision was opposed by CEOs and many Republicans, and both Republican Securities and Exchange Commission members voted against adopting it, citing a lack of exemptions for smaller companies.

Frank said the shareholder votes allow for "an empowerment of those who own the corporations of America so that they can control the entities in which they own shares."

"The vote at Citigroup was important, not only given the significance of Citigroup as a leading financial institution, but also because I believe it will encourage shareholders throughout the financial sector to take their responsibilities seriously," he said in a statement. "And the result should be a reduction in the excessive levels of compensation to financial company executives that will leave them still extremely well compensated, but not as poster children for unfairness in our country."

Since the Citigroup vote, shareholders at several other banks have followed suit.