Bank of America (BAC) CEO Brian Moynihan thinks Americans should show more appreciation for his bank. Call the folks at the Guinness book because this is world-record cluelessness.
Moynihan managed to keep a straight face when he told employees, "I, like you, get a little incensed when you think about how much good all of you do, whether it's volunteer hours, charitable giving we do, serving clients and customers well."
Brian is doing his best to encourage volunteer work. About 30,000 of those employees will soon have a lot more free time to help others thanks to upcoming layoffs. These layoffs are coming in the wake of Brian paying $11 million in severance pay to two executives, as today's Doonesbury reminds us.
Brian had the nerve to say to critics, "You ought to think a little about that before you start yelling at us." ("That" meaning the nice stuff, not the layoffs.)
We would but first we are thinking about a lot of other stuff. For example:
- BofA failing to tell shareholders voting on the acquisition of Merrill Lynch that it had already approved $5.8 billion in bonuses for Merrill executives. The bank later paid a $33 million fine for doing this.
- Last year BofA paid a $137.7 million fine over charges of defrauding schools, hospitals, and dozens of state and local government organizations via misconduct and illegal activities involving the investment of proceeds from municipal bond sales.
- Loaning you $20 billion to keep your bank afloat after it was dumb enough to buy Countrywide Financial.
- Foreclosing on houses that it doesn't appear you have the title for. All 50 state Attorneys General are investigating you for the whole "robo signing" problem.
- That whole thing where BofA is going to charging me to use my own money. The most recent is the $5 debit usage fee for customers with less than a $5,000 balance. There's also the $12 increase in checking account fees and the $35 overdraft fee. Next year you're rolling out a basic checking plan that makes monthly fees unavoidable, doesn't include free bill pay, and has a mandatory $6 minimum fee.
- BofA hasn't paid any federal taxes in the last two years and actually reported a tax "benefit" of nearly $1 billion. Also, the bank's billions in accumulated losses could reduce its taxes in future years.
- And as for that "good service" BofA provides: This month Bank of America ranked lowest in a 24-bank survey of small business customer satisfaction from J.D. Power and Associates.