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Bank of America Paves Way for Nationwide Expansion, Closing in on JPMorgan

The race to the top in the banking sector is heating up as Bank of America plans to extend its national presence.

Bank of America
Bank of America

Bank of America Sets Its Sights on New Territories

Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC) announced on Tuesday its intent to extend its retail operations to four new U.S. states. The move is strategically aimed at matching its competitor JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s (NYSE: JPM) nationwide presence. The expansion involves the establishment of new financial centers in Nebraska, Wisconsin, Alabama, and Louisiana.

Four-Year Expansion Plan Underway

The bank's ambitious four-year plan will see it spread across nine new markets, which include notable cities such as Louisville, Milwaukee, and New Orleans. The new branches will bolster Bank of America's retail footprint in 39 states, inching closer to JPMorgan, the top U.S. lender, which operates in 49 states.

Consumer Banking: A Cornerstone for Growth

Consumer banking played a significant role, accounting for 38% of Bank of America's net income in the first quarter. The planned branches are designed to offer a comprehensive suite of services — banking, lending, and brokerage — under one roof. "By expanding our capabilities in these markets, we are better positioned to serve clients and stimulate local community growth," stated CEO Brian Moynihan.

Transformation of Physical Locations

Over the last decade, Bank of America has streamlined its network from 6,100 to 3,800 branches. In the same timeframe, consumer deposits have nearly doubled to $1 trillion. The bank is adopting a modernized approach, revamping branches with larger waiting areas, private office spaces for client meetings, and downsized teller windows. This aligns with the changing customer habits, marked by a 50% drop in foot traffic for transactions since 2019, and a 90% spike in scheduled appointments.

New Staffing and Improved Outlook

The bank has onboarded approximately 30,000 bankers and specialists to better assist clients with their financial needs, as mentioned by Aron Levine, the president of preferred banking. Meanwhile, Holly O'Neill, Bank of America's president of retail banking, expects a strong performance for the unit in the upcoming second quarter. The bank is set to release its results on July 18.