Responsible Growth: Q&A With Bank Of America CEO Brian Moynihan

Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, our global winner for World’s Best Bank, speaks to Global Finance about the company’s growth and current successes.

Global Finance: Bank of America has enjoyed very good financial results of late. How did you do it?

Brian Moynihan: It comes down to one phrase: responsible growth. That’s the strategy we’ve been following consistently since 2014. It served us well during the relative calm times of 2015-2019 and during the tumultuous times of the pandemic. And it continues to drive our performance today, amid the uncertainty of the global economic environment.

At the heart of responsible growth is a customer-focused strategy. Doing well by our clients means investing in people, technology and solutions that lead to them continue to put their trust in us and grow with us. Responsible growth also means being disciplined in our risk principles, being a great place to work for our employees and sharing our success with the communities we serve. Lastly, it requires good expense management, or what we call operational excellence. 

By staying true to this strategy, our company has consistently delivered strong results for our clients, teammates, communities and shareholders, year after year.

GF: What are the growth areas for the bank? Which businesses seem most promising?

Moynihan: We see opportunities for growth throughout our eight lines of business. Our client teams deliver our unique capabilities across the platform.  In each market, we also focus on bringing the entire company to every customer or client. We track how well we deliver these integrated capabilities by the number of client referrals between our lines of business in our local markets.

As you look across the company, every business segment is helping drive organic growth and strong levels of earnings. For example, in Consumer Banking, we added approximately 157,000 net new checking accounts in the second quarter. It was our eighteenth consecutive quarter of growth. At the same time, we have added more than 1,100 new clients to the global banking platform this year. We also continued to grow our market share, as we jumped to No. 2 in investment banking fees.

In global markets, we gained market share and had our highest first-half sales and trading revenue in more than a decade. Those are just a few of the many examples of how we are driving organic growth across the bank.

GF: What are the main concerns at the moment?

Moynihan: Coming out of the pandemic, we expected we would return to the relative calm that we experienced in the years leading up to 2020. Instead, the world continued to face tensions from the pandemic and lockdowns, a war in Europe and energy supply disruptions, and inflation. Looking ahead, we continue to face uncertainty about the economy and the broader geopolitical environment. The only thing we can be certain about right now is how we deliver.

Responsible growth positioned us well to continue to deliver strong results thanks to the strength of our balance sheet, risk management, organic growth and expense management.

GF: Where does the bank stand on innovation? What are the priorities?

Moynihan: How we deliver products and services must evolve in line with our clients’ unique financial needs and preferences. That’s why innovation is so important to us. Our clients tell us they clearly appreciate the value and convenience of our digital platforms. We continue to take the steps necessary to digitally enable all products to drive growth and improve the client experience. In fact, we have spent more than $30 billion over the past decade on new technology initiatives.

At the same time, we continue to focus on delivering expert support and guidance across our high-touch channels and physical network. And earlier this year, we announced the expansion of our financial center franchise into nine new US markets over the next four years, growing our network to more than 200 markets across 39 states and covering more than 76% of the US population. Together, our combined high-tech and high-touch approach to serving clients has led to record levels of customer satisfaction and, in turn, contributed to our growth. Simply put, more satisfied clients do more business with us.