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Opinion

What’s in a name? Ask Bank of America

A lot of bother over BofA.

We’ve written before about how Bank of America had a stab at erasing some of the Merrill Lynch brand after buying it by removing the Merrill ‘principles’ from the wall of its London headquarters.

But that looks pretty slick compared to the way in which the bank has recently rebranded itself – something that has now taken more than 12 months and feels even longer than that.

The latest D-Day for what must surely be the least exciting ‘brand positioning’ in corporate history came on Monday when it was the research team’s turn to be completely transformed.

In case clients were unaware of the urgent development, the top of research reports screamed that ‘EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 9’ BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research was now known as BofA Global Research.

Be still, our beating hearts.

At least the rebranding boffins managed to get around to the research group before 2019 ended. Astoundingly, this all got under way in November 2018, when the bank rolled out a bizarre promotional campaign geared around the tagline ‘What would you like the power to do?’, a phrase that the bank has even registered as a trademark.

The campaign was the first real outlining of the split between Merrill Lynch, which would now be the brand for the investing and wealth businesses, and Bank of America, which would be everything else.

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