Brian Moynihan is no stranger to turbulent times at Wall Street. Having joined Bank of America 20 years ago, he saw the financial institution grow to become America’s second-biggest lender and battle its way through the 2008 financial crisis.
Since 2010, the 57-year-old has been at the helm of the bank, which employs more than 208,000 workers and controls some 14 percent of the U.S. domestic retail banking market.
Following an acquisition spree ahead of the financial meltdown in 2007-2008, Mr. Moynihan has set his sights on cutting costs at the banking giant. The results appear to prove him right: Last year, Bank of America reported a rise in net profit to $17.9 billion.
Since the election of Donald Trump in the United States, bank stocks have only risen to new heights. Mr. Moynihan insists he sees nothing but a bright future ahead, saying that the optimism among people in the United States is “palpable” and that companies feel upbeat about what’s ahead.
The fact that the new U.S. administration appears set on slashing wide-ranging and cost-intensive financial regulations also doesn’t sour the mood at Bank of America. In the interview, Mr. Moynihan said the time is right to introduce changes to the substantial regulations passed in the wake of the financial crisis, though he doesn’t want to see financial regulations gutted completely.
Read the full Q&A with Mr. Moynihan below.
Handelsblatt: Mr. Moynihan, U.S. President Donald Trump has started his first few weeks in office with a focus on deregulation and trade. What implications do his policies have for the economy?
Brian Moynihan: What you have seen in recent months is a massive change in confidence among consumers and small and midsize companies. People in the U.S. are very enthusiastic, the optimism is palpable. Most of the 30,000 midsize companies we serve feel they are going to move forward. And the U.S. economy has been relatively strong already.