The city was ready with beefed-up police power, but the Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina yesterday was pretty calm and cool. As usual, some protesters arrived with banners and signs -- but the 40 that showed up had nowhere near the disruptive effect of last year's estimated 600 detractors. Has B of A finally turned a corner, thanks to its new image-scrubbing strategy?
A tough time of year for big banks
Of course, Bank of America isn't the only big bank to face protests at annual meeting time -- both inside and out. Who can forget, for instance, the drubbing Citigroup's (NYSE:C) former CEO Vikram Pandit endured at the hands of Citi stockholders at the 2012 annual meeting? Or, how just last month, PNC's (NYSE:PNC) meeting was called to a halt because of an environmental protest led by Quakers?
Annual meeting time can be a stressful time for banks. Just ask Jamie Dimon, who is scheduled to face JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) shareholders on May 21. The heat will be turned up high even for Tampa, as Dimon faces a stockholder vote on whether the dual role of board chair and CEO, both of which Dimon now holds, should be separated. Still stinging from the London Whale fiasco, the Bank of Dimon has had new problems crop up as well -- like the Wells notice it just received from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding dubious energy deals.
For Bank of America, however, things are going swimmingly. Shareholders elected all board nominees, and one indoor protester actually sang, instead of shouting. And, despite all the less-than-encouraging news breaking this week about mortgage-related lawsuits and B of A, the stock has been skyrocketing -- making it above the $13 mark yesterday, where, at least so far today, it has remained. Is Bank of America back? It certainly looks that way, don't you think?