The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank said it intends to give more personalized attention to its 4 million small-business customers. It’s also a way for the bank to grow its revenue after its complicated mortgage products and other risky loans brought it quarterly losses and regulatory probes during the financial crisis. Bank of America spokesman Don Vecchiarello declined to say what percent of the company’s revenue comes from small business.
Small-business lending is often the purview of small community banks, but Bank of America took aim at the market in October 2010. CEO Brian Moynihan, who at the time was in his first year on the job, pledged to hire 1,000 small-business bankers by mid-2012. The new hires in the South bring the total hiring to nearly 800, Vecchiarello said, and the bank remains on track to meet its original goal. The vast majority of the jobs announced Tuesday have already been filled, with the new hires coming from both within and outside the bank, Vecchiarello said.
The small-business bankers are based in branches but spend much of their time outside the office visiting clients. The new hires include 35 in the Atlanta area and 12 in the Charlotte area, where the bank is headquartered.
The hiring comes after job cuts in other areas, including mortgage lending and investment banking. The bank has about 285,000 employees, down from about 288,000 a year ago.