Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan defends the size of his company in the bank’s latest annual report, at a time when others are calling for large U.S. banks to be busted up.
“The fact remains there are only a handful of banks around the world that can handle the global needs of corporate clients, and your bank is one of those,” Moynihan says in the Charlotte-based bank’s report to shareholders, released Thursday.
His comments come amid worries that have lingered about the size of banks in the wake of the financial crisis. Such concerns are being voiced by candidates in both parties during the 2016 presidential race.
For example, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas last year said he wouldn’t bail out Bank of America if it were on the brink of failure. On the Democrats’ side, Bernie Sanders has repeatedly called for breaking up large banks.
In the annual report, Moynihan specifically lays out a case for Bank of America’s global markets operation. The unit serves some of the world’s largest institutional investors, who manage savings and investments in pension and retirement funds. The unit also provides capital for companies seeking to grow.
Moynihan notes that some competitors are exiting parts of the global markets business. But, he said, Bank of America remains in the business “because our clients need our help to raise capital.”
“In addition, our investors need to find opportunities to put their capital to work.”
It’s not the first time Moynihan has talked about the size of banks.
In November, he said big banks have improved their practices and are better positioned to weather another economic downturn.
“Basically, 10 years ago (Bank of America’s) capital was about one-third the size that it is today,” Moynihan said during a banking conference in New York.