Magazine article American Banker

Over Din of Protests, B of a's Moynihan Touts 'Healing'

Magazine article American Banker

Over Din of Protests, B of a's Moynihan Touts 'Healing'

Article excerpt

Byline: Kate Berry

Protestors interrupted Bank of America Corp.'s chief executive Brian Moynihan during an investor presentation Thursday, shouting "Bust Up Bank of America!" and, curiously, "It's International Women's Day."

Moynihan made a wry transition back into his talk: "As I was sayinga[bar]" The audience at the Citigroup 2012 Financial Services Conference laughed and burst into applause.

The CEO praised the $25 billion settlement with federal regulators and state attorneys general announced in late January, saying the payout by B of A and five other mortgage servicers would help stabilize the housing market and the economy.

"The mortgage process is healing," Moynihan said. "These are all part of the settlements to help the mortgage market going forward."

When asked about the settlement's impact on banks, Moynihan responded: "When you ask how a $25 billion settlement could be good, I agree with you. But it's a symbol, a chance to get everyone to agree to solve this."

The Obama administration had made a number of changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program and other mortgage relief programs that Moynihan said would allow the market to recover, albeit slowly.

"You heard the president speak about this. There's a strong, clear view that if we help move the process along, the amount of people that we can help may be limited a[bar]but this thing is healing, it will be slow, let's not kid ourselves, but it is healing."

B of A is modifying about 50,000 loans each quarter and taking about 1,500 refinance applications a day, he said. …

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