Bank of America's revenue from fixed-income and equity markets should decline by 5% to 6% in the third quarter, compared with a year ago, Chairman and Chief Executive Brian Moynihan said Thursday.
Sales and trading revenue dipped in the second quarter to about $3.3 billion, from $3.4 billion a year ago, he said at the Barclays Global Financial Services Conference in New York.
"The bar is down and staying there," Moynihan said. "The fixed income is down. But importantly… this is the business which basically made $800 million to $1 billion after-tax and returns are 11% or so, which is about our cost of capital. This business provides tremendous synergies to the rest of the company."
The Charlotte, N.C., bank also will continue to have a higher efficiency ratio relative to its peers, because of the high costs of paying financial advisers, Moynihan said.
Moynihan was not asked about efforts by some investors to split his roles as chairman and CEO. B of A will hold a shareholder vote on Sept. 22 whether to let Moynihan keep both titles.
During a 40-minute presentation on Thursday, Moynihan discussed how B of A has transformed itself since 2010 into what he called a simpler and leaner bank. The company has shed 70,000 employees, exited $73 billion of noncore businesses and slashed $8 billion a year in expenses, he said.
A major area of concern remains expenses and the bank's efficiency ratio, which had a dramatic improvement in the second quarter at 62%. The efficiency ratio in the first half was 67%. Moynihan said his current target ratio is 60%.
B of A's global wealth and investment management unit has an efficiency ratio of 76%, which forces the bank's other units to bear the brunt of lower expenses.
"The wealth management business is 20% of the company with an efficiency ratio of 76%," Moynihan said. "So start to think about how efficient the rest of the company has to be… That's the nature of the incentive system on wealth management."