BoA to expand in 4 US states

Bank of America Corp has announced plans to expand its consumer branches into four new states in the United States, in a move to bring its national presence closer to rival JPMorgan Chase & Co. The bank will be opening financial centres in Nebraska, Wisconsin, Alabama, and Louisiana as part of a broader expansion strategy across nine markets, including cities like Louisville, Milwaukee, and New Orleans.

With these new branch openings, Bank of America will establish a retail presence in 39 states, compared to JPMorgan, the largest US lender, which currently operates branches in 49 states. Both banks have benefited from a resilient consumer base and small businesses, while also generating increased income from clients’ interest payments as the Federal Reserve raised borrowing costs.

Consumer banking accounted for 38% of Bank of America’s net income in the first quarter, and the addition of new branches aims to consolidate its offerings, including banking, lending, and brokerage services, under one roof. Bank of America’s CEO, Brian Moynihan, stated that expanding their capabilities in these markets will enable them to better serve clients and contribute to local community growth.

Looking ahead, Moynihan predicts a “mild recession” for the US in the first part of the next year, with two quarters of negative growth. He also noted that inflation remains higher than desired by the Federal Reserve, which implies the need for continued rate hikes. Bank of America’s network has undergone a significant reduction in the last decade, shrinking from 6,100 branches to 3,800. However, consumer deposits have nearly doubled, reaching $1 trillion.

As part of their branch strategy, Bank of America is renovating locations to provide larger waiting areas, dedicated spaces for client meetings, and less prominent teller windows. Foot traffic for transactions has declined by 50% since 2019, while appointments have surged by 90%. The bank has employed thousands of bankers and specialists to assist clients with their financial needs and priorities. The company’s retail banking unit is expected to perform well in the second quarter, with the results set to be announced on July 18th.

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