Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Moynihan's letter to shareholders says bank is stronger, more customer-focused

In a letter to shareholders published Wednesday, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan touted the bank's efforts to build a "stronger, leaner company," though he acknowledges the bank's stock didn't fare so well and results were lower than expected.

He said the bank became more customer focused over the year, and became a better place for its employees to work.

The Charlotte bank posted net income of $1.4 billion for the year. Its stock price fell 58 percent, the worst performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

"Obviously, our stock price does not yet reflect the work we are doing to strengthen capital, reduce risk and attract more business from our customers," Moynihan writes. "There are many issues weighing not only on us, but on the entire financial services industry."

He also claimed successes in areas where the public has found fault with the bank in the past year. Moynihan said the bank became more "customer-focused" in 2011, creating two chief operating officers to align with different segments of customers and overhauling products and services. He pointed to deposit balance increases in the retail business of $20 billion over the year as evidence of its success.

Moynihan also said the bank has modified 1 million mortgages since 2008, and is responsible for one in three modifications around the country.

And he also said Bank of America became a better place for employees to work, pointing to placement of thousands of employees in new positions to build skills and offering opportunities for them to weigh in on Project New BAC -- the streamlining initiative that involves 30,000 layoffs.