Bank Watch

Moynihan questioned about calls to break up Bank of America

Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, on Wednesday responded to calls to break up the Charlotte bank, saying the company has already simplified itself, including by getting rid of many operations.
Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, on Wednesday responded to calls to break up the Charlotte bank, saying the company has already simplified itself, including by getting rid of many operations. Bloomberg

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan argued Wednesday that the Charlotte bank shouldn’t be broken up, as shareholders prepare to vote on the topic this spring.

Moynihan discussed the issue Wednesday during the bank’s first-quarter earnings conference. Analysts asked him why the bank recommends shareholders vote against a proposal that urges the company to look at ways to split itself up.

If the bank breaks up, “the question would be: What would we look like after?” Moynihan said. “We’d have capital we can’t deploy, and we’d have less earnings power.”

Moynihan also noted the bank has already taken steps to simplify the company, including selling off non-core business operations.

Bank of America’s board already examines the company to make sure it has the “optimal” business mix, he said, “and the board will look at it continuously.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission denied Bank of America’s request to exclude the item from the proxy for its 2015 shareholder meeting, which takes place next month in Charlotte. The shareholder behind the proposal says the bank may be too big to manage effectively and to contain risks that can spread across its other business units.

The bank on Wednesday reported making profit of $3.4 billion in the first three months of this year, compared with a loss of $276 million in the same quarter last year.

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