The US’s best bank 2022: Bank of America
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The US’s best bank 2022: Bank of America

Bank of America is thriving. In its home market, it has led the way in retail banking with a distinctive preferred rewards programme that offers retail customers preferential rates across a full range of products from credit cards to mortgages.

It is also a leader in corporate banking, with commercial bankers present in more cities than any other rival, covering more mid-market clients.

BofA brings these two strands together cleverly. You don’t have to spend long with any member of the bank’s executive leadership team before you hear about its corporate employee banking and investing (CEBI) programme.

Because BofA is itself a good corporate citizen, it has noticed the increasing focus among its own clients on the financial wellbeing of their employees. It has set up on the corporate campuses of leading companies such as Apple and Microsoft, as well as many mid-market corporations, giving their employees special offers to use this scheme.

This eases the way for staff to use the bank’s CEBI programme, which includes tools for basics like saving and planning, as well as investing for retirement and managing equity-based and other deferred compensation.

Brian Moynihan

Close to 300 companies have so far taken advantage of CEBI, representing over three million employees.

Allied to this, the bank invests intelligently in technology. It is renowned for cutting-edge transaction banking services delivered through the CashPro app, for a pioneering approach to retail payments, including through Zelle, and it is now busily encouraging greater uptake of digital platforms that reduce errors, make customers lives easier and are cheaper for the bank to run.

And 2021 was another record-setting year for innovation, with 512 patents lodged in areas including artificial intelligence, information security, data analytics, mobile banking and payments.

In January 2022, the global transaction services business launched CashPro Forecasting, a tool that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to more accurately predict future cash positions across client accounts at BofA and other financial institutions.

Algorithms learn from historical transaction information to model each account and forecast future cash flows and balances. That is not necessarily in the bank’s best short-term interest if it helps creditworthy clients reduce borrowing. But, like an old school advisory partnership, the bank’s leaders figure clients will reward it for saving them money.

We have been outgrowing the industry in loans and deposits, while our wealth management business enjoys its highest-ever growth in customer assets
Brian Moynihan

It doesn’t just do a good job for customers, it also does a good job for shareholders.

“We have been outgrowing the industry in loans and deposits,” Brian Moynihan, chairman and chief executive, tells Euromoney, “while our wealth management business enjoys its highest-ever growth in customer assets, which is purely organic growth, as well as record revenue.”

He adds: “In the 12 months to the first quarter of 2022, we have hit record earnings and returns.”

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