BofA’s Next CFO Makes Debut Assuring Investors on Risk Profile

For anyone wondering whether Bank of America Corp. would shift its risk-averse tone after its recent shakeup in leadership, the answer is probably not at all.

At his first public appearance after being named the company’s next chief financial officer on Friday, Alastair Borthwick said Bank of America’s longtime mantra of “responsible growth” would be his guiding principle as well.

BofA’s Next CFO Makes Debut Assuring Investors on Risk Profile

“We’re pretty comfortable with our strategy,” Borthwick said Monday at conference sponsored by Barclays Plc. “It is possible we could grow faster if we change our risk appetite,” he said, but “none of us are interested in that.” 

Chief Executive Office Brian Moynihan often repeats the phrase “responsible growth” during the company’s earnings conference calls, even after the firm took flak from some investors for being too conservative in the wake of big losses on dealings tied to South African furniture retailer Steinhoff International Holdings NV. 

The investment-banking division got a “a little too careful,” Moynihan said at the end of 2018, but the bank has never wavered from the strategy of keeping a tight lid on risk. 

Borthwick, 52, currently heads the lender’s expansive commercial-banking operation, which serves midsize companies he says have been an area of growth for the lender. He’ll assume the role of CFO in the fourth-quarter, replacing Paul Donofrio, who has held the position since 2015.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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