Bank of America BAC is financially sound amid the current global coronavirus-related crisis as compared to the 2008 financial crisis. In an interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer last week, the company’s CEO Brian Moynihan said, “What’s different this time is clearly our capital liquidity.”Moynihan added, “We’re going to make sure we maintain strong capital ratios and strong liquidity right through this crisis.” Part of the credit for the current strong balance sheet position goes to the changes in the banking industry,following the last crisis, which included stringent capital requirements, ban on proprietary trading and conservative lending policies.
Thus, BofA has been able to provide more than $50 billion in loans so far this month to corporateclients looking for cash to survive the coronavirus-induced recession. Further, Moynihan stated that the company’s retail division received roughly 150,000 calls for the deferment of mortgage and auto loan payments, with several requests being managed digitally.Further, reassuring the employees, Moynihan said, “We don’t want our teammates to worry about their jobs during a time like this. We told them all, there’s no issue, you’re all going to be working now through year-end. No layoffs, no nothing.”Moreover, the company will continue paying each employee, even those who cannot work from home. Moynihan stated, “We’ll continue to pay everybody, even those who can’t work from home because the type of work they do isn’t doable from home.”
Likewise, last week, several major global banks, including Morgan Stanley MS, Citigroup C, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Deutsche Bank DB and HSBC Holdings, announced a pause in job cuts for this year.With BofA being financially healthy, it is expected that the company will be able to tide over the current crisis and will be able to maintain steady earnings growth over the long term.Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) bank has lost 37.5% so far this year as compared with 38.5% decline for the industry it belongs to.
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