With its management now in place, Bank of America Insurance Services will focus on building sales of automobile, homeowners, and term life insurance, the head of the unit said.
In his first interview since taking the reins in January, Charles M. Baynard spoke generally about his plans for the post-merger combination of the insurance units of BankAmerica and NationsBank.
"We're obviously kind of excited about the opportunities," Mr. Baynard said. "We see it as a growing source of revenue."
Mr. Baynard would not discuss the bank's current or expected revenues from insurance.
Bank of America sells credit life, term life, auto, and homeowners insurance by direct marketing and over the Internet. It also sells some credit life policies face-to-face, Mr. Baynard said.
Mr. Baynard says he is investigating whether to increase one-on-one sales of insurance and whether to introduce products, but has no immediate expansion plans.
The challenge is integrating insurance with the bank culture to encourage cross-selling, Mr. Baynard said. That requires the appropriate use of customer information, he said.
To help foster the cross-selling potential, Mr. Baynard has appointed Doug Foreman to the newly created position of head of marketing and business development for the insurance services group.
Mr. Foreman has held numerous consumer banking and marketing positions with NationsBank since 1989. Most recently, he was manager of the South Central consumer marketing team, which had provided NationsBank products and services to Texas and Oklahoma.
Reporting to Mr. Baynard are Mr. Foreman; Dean Purvis, senior vice president in charge of basic and supplemental insurance; Rex Moreland, who is in charge of payment protection businesses such as credit life products; and James Aeling, the group's chief financial officer.
Mr. Baynard said the marketing and business development position rounded out the unit's management team.
"That position is really an indication of our desire to become more aggressive in the insurance area," Mr. Baynard said.
He said the unit also plans to increase the number of underwriters it works with.
The bank wants customers to have a choice of carriers, he said, because studies show that people will buy insurance from banks if it is offered.