It's been a whirlwind week for Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) , with the big bank handing in a revised capital plan after its recent accounting error, as well as being chosen by Shelly Sterling as the best candidate to sell the LA Clippers.
In between these milestones, Bank of America's top brass found time to attend a couple of financial conferences, where they shared some of the bank's recent triumphs – and its plans for a dazzling future.
Still trimming, but also drilling down
B of A's Head of Global Corporate & Investment Banking, Christian Meissner, gave a presentation at the Deutsche Bank Global Financial Services Investor Conference on May 27, outlining how the bank has been ramping up its investment banking sector while whittling down its client list.
By reducing its overall number of clients from nearly 12,000 in 2010 to around 5,000 by 2013, the bank has actually increased its revenues – beating JPMorgan Chase by bringing in total investment banking fee income last year of $6.4 billion.
How did they manage this? The bank has concentrated on its client base outside of the U.S., where loan growth is greater. Most of the revenue increase has come from drilling down and focusing on the most lucrative investment clients – and finding other products to sell them, as well.
Bank of America's global perspective has served it well this year: For 2014, the bank is involved in more than half of the announced worldwide M&A deals above $5 billion in value.
At home, cleaning up is nearly done
Speaking at the Sanford C Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference the very next day, B of A's CEO Brian Moynihan discussed how the big bank has evolved since he has been at the helm, and touched on what he considers his biggest disappointment: the length of time it is taking to clean up the mortgage mess. Resolving those issues has definitely held the bank back in many ways, particularly by dampening earnings and hobbling efforts to return capital to investors.
Moynihan also noted that, while most of the problems in that arena have been addressed, there is still one major legal issue to resolve with U.S. regulators. In that case, the bank may be on the hook for a sizable settlement of over $13 billion over faulty mortgage-backed securities it sold to the government right before the financial crisis.
Still, Bank of America's CEO feels the lion's share of its mortgage-related legal troubles have been resolved, and he seems to be feeling pretty good about the strides the bank has made in the past few years. After years of hard work, it seems that the big bank has finally succeeded in putting most of its troubled past firmly behind it.
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