Bank of America CEO Isn’t Worried About Losing Junior Talent

Bank of America Corp. is confident in its ability to retain young talent as Wall Street firms bid up salaries for junior bankers burned out by the pandemic, Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan said.

“Our turnover rate in the company is basically what it’s been traditionally,” Moynihan said Wednesday in an interview on Bloomberg TV. Talented college graduates are attracting competitive offers from private equity and other lenders and that competition is “okay” as Bank of America seeks to add people, Moynihan said.

Bank of America CEO Isn’t Worried About Losing Junior Talent

The lender is among a number of firms that have dangled higher wages and other incentives in front of its lowest-ranking bankers who’ve been languishing under crushing work loads during the pandemic. Others have handed out bonuses, offered vacations and banned weekend work to ease pressures.

The bank is encouraging its younger staff to come into the office and meet their bosses in person, Moynihan said, as the North Carolina-based bank more broadly welcomes vaccinated employees back to their desks.

The CEO was speaking after the bank reported second-quarter earnings, where it joined Wall Street’s biggest lenders in revealing tepid loan growth as U.S stimulus deterred consumers from borrowing. In its consumer banking unit, loans and leases fell 12%, weighing on its net interest income which missed analysts estimates.

But with small businesses taking out new lines of credit and consumers drawing more on their borrowing lines, a return of loan growth is on the horizon, Moynihan told Bloomberg News anchor David Westin on “Bloomberg Markets: The Close.”

Bank of America, like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., saw a slump in trading revenue as pandemic-induced market volatility faded.

“We didn’t lose money on any trading day last quarter,” Moynihan said, adding that the bank has been building out its trading business and capturing market share. “We grind it out,” he said.

Equity traders fared much better, with a 33% jump helped in part by its Asia operations, which include Hong Kong. The firm doesn’t yet anticipate changes in how it operates in the former British colony, following a sweeping security law that has prompted an exodus from the region, Moynihan said. China is also applying heavy scrutiny on overseas listings.

“We have a more limited business of serving large companies and cash management on mainland China and Hong Kong,” Moynihan said. “Obviously we keep our eyes close to the ground, ears close to the ground.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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