Bank of America Reorganizes Worldwide Retail Operations

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Bank of America Reorganizes Worldwide Retail Operations

The Bank of America on Tuesday announced a major restructuring of its worldwide retail operations aimed at improving the bank's sales and market orientation.

Vice chairman James B. Wiesler told a morning news conference that the retail banking division has been renamed the global consumer markets division, in order to reflect a new focus on banking as a "customer-driven business' and to incorporate a variety of banking activities which had previously been located in other sections of the bank.

"The consumer comes first,' said Mr. Wiesler. "We want to be organized so that we can react in these volatile changing times. We want to be able to change and offer innovative products to the consumer as quickly as possible.'

Mr. Wiesler said the reorganization, which was developed with the bank's management committee, had been in the works for months and was in no way related to the mortgage-backed securities scandal which has forced the bank to write off $95 million in losses. Bank officials declined to comment further on their continuing investigation into the scandal, noting that they expect to provide a full report very soon.

The restructuring comes at a time when the Bank of America's performance has been disappointing to many analysts, prompting some observers to call for some dramatic change.

Among the elements that will be under the global consumer markets umbrella are responsibilities for: trusts, private banking, real estate, insurance, Charles Schwab & Co.'s discount brokerage, and middle market financial services. Also included: GCM Credit Risk Management; GCM Strategic Planning and Marketing Services, Consumer Systems; GCM Financial Management; and GCM Human Resources Management.

Mr. Wiesler, who has headed the retail banking division since March 1982, will head the expanded retail division.

The restructuring, which will divide the global consumer markets division into 19 strategic business units, is intended to improve service delivery and result in a "more aggressive Bank of America,' Mr. Weisler said.

Who Will Head What

Various personnel changes are involved in the restructuring. Executive vice president F.R. "Pete' Talbott will head GCM's consumer financial services area, which merges units from the bank's retail financial services and retail marketing areas. It brings together sales and service units with product management groups in order to more quickly respond to customers' needs. Earlier this month Mr. Talbott became an executive vice president and succeeded James P. Miscoll as head of retail financial services.

Two consumer financial services units--California sales and service and nationwide sales and service-- will be headed by Donald Mullane, who was promoted to executive vice president.

The California sales and service unit will deliver financial products and services to individuals and small businesses through the California branches, which remain unchanged as the basic business units serving customers. The nationwide sales and service unit has as its principal component Finance America, the consumer finance company subsidiary. …