B of A Overhauls Retail Bank, Reshuffles Execs

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Bank of America Corp. reshuffled top retail bank executives yet again this week, according to an internal memo obtained by American Banker.

Co-chief operating officer David Darnell sent a memo late Thursday announcing a major shake-up of top managers in the bank's consumer, small business and home lending units.

The changes come just a month after B of A Chief Executive Brian Moynihan ousted two top executives and streamlined the chain of command under two top deputies, Darnell and Thomas Montag.

Darnell has now increased the roles of two B of A veterans, Susan Faulkner and Laurie Readhead. Faulkner will continue to lead consumer and small business products but she will also take on home loans, secured credit underwriting, fulfillment and quality control, according to the memo.

Mortgage chief Barbara Desoer, who was once considered a possible successor to former CEO Ken Lewis, appeared to lose more power as Faulkner takes on home loans. Darnell's memo says Desoer "will continue supporting the home loans transition and the integration with consumer and small business banking."

Readhead appears to be a trouble shooter in the new arrangement, serving as the head of something called "consumer market and distribution optimization." In that role, her responsibilities will be "focusing on driving out the New BAC ideas across the consumer organization while managing announced divestitures," according to the memo.

Under its New BAC simplification project, Bank of America is laying off staff and selling assets as it tries to return to its core banking operations. Moynihan has said that a smaller Bank of America can earn better returns by focusing on deepened relationships with customers.

"Remember, we have the best franchise, capabilities, and customer base in the industry," Darnell said in the memo.

The changes announced in Darnell's memo break up major pieces of B of A's home lending business. They have been in the works for some time, according to a person familiar with the changes.

Matt Vernon, B of A's top sales executive for home loans, will now report to Dean Athanasia, who previously was head of the banking and direct investment division, and was a key member of Sallie Krawcheck's team. Krawcheck, the former president of global wealth and investment management at B of A Merrill Lynch, was ousted in Moynihan's September management shakeup.

B of A is also expected to put secondary marketing of home loans under chief investment officer Walter Muller, the person familiar with the changes says.

Darnell's memo appears to undo some relatively recent changes in Bank of America's senior ranks. Walter Elcock, who was appointed to run Bank of America's coast-to-coast branch network in December, will now assume accountability for "consumer business controls and readiness management."

The memo also suggests that Bank of America anticipates that it will be offloading business lines and other assets for quite a while. One of the posts under Readhead's authority is the job of overseeing "non-core portfolio assets." The name of the person who will fill that job is still to be determined, according to the memo.

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Comments (1)
In its efforts To reduce expenses sas the bank taken full advantage of check 21?
Posted by AndyJacksonian | Saturday, October 22 2011 at 6:28PM ET
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