Magazine article American Banker

B of A Sees Growth in Mass Affluent Group

Magazine article American Banker

B of A Sees Growth in Mass Affluent Group

Article excerpt

Byline: Jackie Stewart

Bank of America Corp.'s relatively new wealth-management unit for mass-affluent consumers is on target to meet growth goals, despite recent shakeups at the company's broader retail bank.

Since B of A launched Merrill Edge in June 2010, the unit's assets rose 31%, accounts climbed 21% and revenue jumped 75%, according to B of A preferred and small-business segment executive Dean Athanasia. B of A had previously set a program target of increasing customer investments by 10% per year.

Athanasia, who gained more responsibilities when B of A reshuffled its retail bank executives in October, spoke to reporters during a conference call on Tuesday. He was joined by other B of A executives.

B of A considers customers with $50,000 to $250,000 in investable assets to be mass affluent. Providing wealth management services to this group has proved difficult for banks in the past: HSBC said earlier this year that it would drop efforts to attract six million account holders to its Premier banking service citing high costs of the program. …

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